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Hammer and Slit-Iron Act, and numberless of you should pay the sum of one shilling! others restraining our trade, obstructing our Blush, blush, for shame at your perverse and manufactures, and forbidding us the use of scandalous behaviour !" the gifts of God and nature. Hopeful guar Blush for shame at your own ignorance, dians, truly! Can it be imagined, that, if Mr. Dean, who do not know, that the colowe had a reasonable share in electing them, nies have taxes, and heavy ones of their from time to time, they would thus have own to pay, to support their own civil and used us !
military establishments; and that the shil-“And must have seen abundant reason lings should not be reckoned upon heads, before this time to have altered your former but
upon pounds. There never was a sillier hasty and rash opinion."
argument. We see in you abundance of self-conceit, “ Witness our county taxes, militia taxes, but no convincing argument.
poor taxes, vagrant taxes, bridge taxes, high-road “ Have you no concerts or assemblies, no and turnpike taxes, watch taxes, lamp and scaplay-houses or gaming-houses, now subsisting? venger taxes, &c. &c. &c.” Have you put down your horse-races and other
And have we not all these taxes too, as such like sports and diversions ? And is the well as you, and our provincial or public luxury of your tables, and the variety and pro- taxes besides ? And over and above, have fusion of your wines and liquors, quite banished we not new roads to make, new bridges to from among you?”
build, churches and colleges to found, and This should be a caution to Americans, a number of other things to do, that your how they indulge for the future in British fathers have done for you, and which you luxuries. See here British generosity: inherit from them, but which we are obliged The people, who have made you poor by to pay for out of our present labour ? their worthless, I mean useless, commodi “ We require of you to contribute only one ties, would now make you poorer by taxing shilling to every twenty from each of us. Yes, you; and from the very inability you have and this shilling too to be spent in your own brought on yourselves, by a partiality for country, for the support of your own civil and their fashions and modes of living, of which military establishments.” they have had the whole profit, would now
How fond he is of this one shilling and urge your ability to pay the taxes they are twenty. Who has desired this of you, and pleased to impose. Reject, then, their com- who can trust you to lay it out? If you merce as well as their pretended power of are thus to provide for our civil and military taxing. Be frugal and industrious, and you establishments, what use will there afterwill be free. The luxury of your tables, wards be for our assemblies ? which could be known to the English only “ And yet, small and inconsiderable as this by your hospitably entertaining them, is by share is, you will not pay it. No, you will these grateful guests now made a charge not! and it is at our peril if we demand it! against you, and given as a reason for tax No! we will pay nothing on compuling you.
sion. “ Be it also allowed, as it is commonly asserted, that the public debt of the several pro- your allegations ? Why truly by breaking forth
“For how, and in what manner, do you prove vinces amounts to eight hundred thousand pounds sterling.”
into riots and insurrections, and by committing I have heard, Mr. Dean, that you have stagnate, and industry to cease.”
every kind of violence that can cause trade to studied political arithmetic more than divinity, but, by this sample of it, I fear to very
The Americans never brought riots as little purpose. If personal service were the arguments. It is unjust to charge two or matter in question, out of so many millions three riots in particular places upon all of souls, so many men might be expected, America. Look for arguments in the petiwhether here or in America. But when tions and remonstrances of the assemblies
, raising money is the question, it is not the who detest riots, of which there are ten in number of souls, but the wealth in posses- England for one in America. sion, that shows the ability. If we were “Perhaps you meant to insinuate (though it twice as numerous as the people of Eng- was prudence in you not to speak out), that land, it would not follow that we are half the late act was ill-contrived and ill-timed, beas able. There are numbers of single cause it was made at a juncture when neither estates in England, each worth a hundred the French were in your rear to frighten, nor of the best of ours in North America. The the English fleets and armies on your front to city of London alone is worth all the pro- force you to a compliance." vinces of North America.
It seems a prevailing opinion in England, “ When each of us pays, one with another, that fear of their French neighbours would twenty shillings per head, we expect that each have kept the colonies in obedience to the
Parliament, and that if the French power thousand pounds, which you seem to think had not been subdued, no opposition would so much clear profit to us, when, in fact, have been made to the Stamp Act. A very they never spend a penny among us, but groundless notion. On the contrary, had they have for it from us a penny's worth. the French power continued, to which the The manufactures they buy are brought Americans might have had recourse in the from you; the provisions we could, as we case of oppression from Parliament, Parlia- always did, sell elsewhere for as much ment would not have dared to oppose them. money. Holland, France, and Spain would It was the employment of fifty thousand all be glad' of our custom, and pleased to men by land and a fleet on the coast, for five see the separation. years, to subdue the French only. Half the
“ And after all, and in spite of any thing land army were provincials. Suppose the themselves, with all the colonies against we shall give a better price for many British twenty-five thousand had acted by you can do, we in Britain shall still retain the
greatest part of your European trade, because
your them; what time would it have taken to commodities, than you can have any where else, subdue the whole ?
and we shall sell to you several of our manufac* Or shall we give you entirely up, unless tures, especially in the woollen-stuff and metal you will submit to be governed by the same way, on cheaper terms." laws as we are, and pay something towards.
Oho! Then you will still trade with us! maintaining yourselves ?”
But can that be without our trading with The impudence of this language to colo- you? And how can you buy our oil, if we nies, who have ever maintained themselves, catch no whales ? is astonishing! Except the late attempted
“ The leaders of your parties will then be colonies of Nova Scotia and Georgia, no setting all their engines to work, to make fools colony ever_received maintenance in any become the dupes of fools.” shape from Britain; and the grants to those
Just as they do in England. colonies were mere jobs for the benefit of ministerial favourites, English or Scotchmen. “And instead of having troops to defend
“Whether we are to give you entirely up, them, and those troops paid by Great Britain, and, after having obliged you to pay your debts, they must defend themselves, and pay them
selves.” whether we are to have no further connexion with you as a dependent state or colony" To defend them !-To oppress, insult, and
Throughout all America English debts murder them, as at Boston! are more easily recovered than in England, “ Not to mention that the expenses of your the process being shorter and less expensive, civil governments will be necessarily increased; and land subject to execution for the pay- and that a fleet more or less must belong to each ment of debts. Evidence, taken ex parte in province for guarding their coasts, insuring the England, to prove a debt, is allowed in their payment of duties, and the like." courts, and during the whole dispute there was not one single instance of any English author. The same were predicted to the
These evils are all imaginations of the merchant's meeting with the least obstruc- Netherlands, but have never yet happened. tion in any process or suit commenced there But suppose all of them together, and many for that purpose.
more, it would be better to bear them than “ Externally, by being severed from the Bri- submit to parliamentary taxation. We might tish empire, you will be excluded from cutting still have something we could call our own. logwood in the bays of Campeachy and Hon. But, under the power claimed by Parliaduras, from fishing on the banks of Newfound- ment, we have not a single sixpence. land, on the coast of Labrador, or in the bay The author of this pamphlet, Dean Tucker, of St. Lawrence, &c.”
has always been haunted with the fear of We have no use for logwood, but to re- the seat of government being soon to be remit it for your fineries. We joined in con- moved to America. He has, in his Tracts quering the Bay of St. Lawrence and its on Commerce, some just notions in matters dependencies. As to the Sugar Islands, if of trade and police, mixed with many wild you won't allow us to trade with them, per- and chimerical fancies totally impracticable. haps you will allow them to trade with us; He once proposed, as a defence of the coloor do you intend to starve them? Pray nies, to clear the woods for the width of a keep your bounties, and let us hear no more mile all along behind them, that the Indians of them ;~and your troops, who never pro- might not be able to cross the cleared part tected us against the savages, nor are fit for without being seen; forgetting that there is such a service ;-and the three hundred a night in every twenty-four hours.
PASSAGES IN “AN INQUIRY INTO THE NATURE AND CAUSES OF THE DISPUTES BETWEEN THE BRITISH COLONIES IN AMERICA AND
THEIR MOTHER COUNTRY.-LONDON, 1769."
“ SUPREME power and authority must not, dependent legislatures. By this means, the cannot, reside equally every where throughout remotest parts of a great empire may be as an empire.”
well governed as the centre; misrule, opWriters on this subject often confuse them- pressions of proconsuls, and discontents and selves with the idea, that all the king's do- rebellions thence arising, prevented. By minions make one state, which they do not, this means the power of a king may be exnor ever did since the conquest. Our kings tended without inconvenience over territories have ever had dominions not subject to the of any dimensions, how great soever. AmeEnglish parliament. At first the provinces rica was thus happily governed in all its of France, of which Jersey and Guernsey different and remote settlements, by the remain, always governed by their own laws, crown and their own Assemblies, till the appealing to the king in Council only, and new politics took place of governing it by not to our courts or the House of Lords. one Parliament, which have not succeeded Scotland was in the same situation before and never will. the union. It had the same king, but a “Should we carry our supposition much far. separate Parliament, and the Parliament of ther, the inconveniences attending such long England had no jurisdiction over it. Ire- journeys would be very great, although not in. land the same in truth, though the British terrupted by water." Parliament has usurped a dominion over it. Water, so far from being an obstruction, The colonies were originally settled in the is a means of facilitating such assemblies idea of such extrinsic dominions of the from distant countries. À voyage of three king, and of the king only. Hanover is thousand miles by sea is more easily pernow such a dominion.
formed than a journey of one thousand by “If each Assembly, in this case, were abso- land. lute, they would, it is evident, form not one It is, in my opinion, by no means impraco only, but so many different governments per ticable to bring representatives conveniently fectly independent of one another."
from America to Britain; but I think the This is the only clear idea of their real present mode of letting them govern thempresent condition. Their only bond of union selves by their own Assemblies much preis the king.
ferable. They will always be better go“ Now that of Great Britain being exactly verned; and the Parliament has business the kind of government I have been speaking enough here with its own internal concerns. of, the absolute impossibility of vesting the « Whether they should not be allowed American Assemblies with an authority in all such a form of government, as will best secure respects equal to that of the mother country, to them their just rights and natural liberties?' without actually dismembering the British em They have it already. All the difficulties pire, must naturally occur to every one." have arisen from the British Parliament
It would not be dismembering it, if it attempting to deprive them of it. never was united, as in truth, it never yet “ Is it not, let me ask, most egregious folly, has been. Breaking the present union be- so loudly to condemn the Stuart family, who tween England and Scotland would be dis- would have governed England without a Parliamembering the empire; but no such union ment, when at the same time we would, almost has yet been formed between Britain and all of us, govern America upon principles not the colonies.
at all more justifiable ?" “ Where divers remote and distant countries Very just. Only that the arbitrary goare united under one government, an equal and vernment of a single person is more eligible, fair representation becomes almost impracticable, than the arbitrary government of a body or, at least, extremely inconvenient.'
A single man may be afraid or Here appears the excellency of the inven- ashamed of doing injustice; a body is never tion of colony government, by separate, in- either one or the other, if it is strong enough.
It cannot apprehend assassination, and by Parliament grant but three. But Parliaments dividing the shame among them, it is so and provincial Assemblies may always be little apiece that no one minds it.
safely trusted with this power of refusing “ And consistently with our rights of or granting in part. Ministers will often
demand too much. sovereignty over them."
But Assemblies, being I am surprised, that a writer, who, in acquainted properly with the occasion, will other respects, appears
always grant what is necessary. As pro
reasonable, should talk of our sovereignty over the colo- tection is, as I said before, mutual and equal nies! As if every individual in England Colonies have been drawn into all British
in proportion to every man's property, the was a part of a sovereign over America ! The king is the sovereign of all.
wars, and have annoyed the enemies of The Americans think, that, while they
Britain as much in proportion as any other can retain the right of disposing of their subjects of the king, equal in numbers and own money, they shall thereby secure all property; Therefore, this account has al
further be observed, that their pro" That England has an undeniable right to ceedings are not quite so rapid and precipitate consider America as a part of her dominions is as those of the Privy Council ; so that, should a fact, I presume, which can never be ques- time to petition or make remonstrances.
it be found unnecessary, they will have more
For tioned." You do, indeed, presume too much. Ame- enjoy, is not to be denied them.”
this privilege, the least which a subject can rica is not part of the dominions of England, but of the king's dominion. England is a
Late experience has fully shown, that dominion itself, and has no dominions. American petitions and remonstrances are « I will only observe at present, that it was of petitioning has been attempted to be
little regarded in Britain. The privilege England, in some sense, which at first gave wrested from them. The Assemblies uniting them being.' In some sense! In what sense? They tempt in the ministers' letters ; and such
to petition has been called a flagitious atwere not planted at her expense. As to Assemblies as would persist in it have theredefence, all parts of the king's dominion
fore been dissolved. have mutually always contributed to the defence one of the other. The man in know that Parliament, so far from solemnly
It is a joke to talk thus to us, when we America, who contributes sixpence towards an armament against the common enemy, ceive or read them.
canvassing our petitions, has refused to recontributes as much to the common protection as if he lived in England.
“Our right of legislation over the Americans, They have always been ready to contri- unrepresented as they are, is the point in quesbute, but by voluntary grants according to tion. This right is asserted by most, doubted their rights; nor has any Englishman yet of by some, and wholly disclaimed by a few." had the effrontery to deny this truth.
I am one of those few; but am persuaded “ If they are at liberty to choose what sums the time is not far distant, when the few to raise, as well as the manner of raising them, will become the many; for, Magna est veritas it is scarcely to be doubted, that their allowance et prevalebit. will be found extremely short. And it is evi-.
“ But, to put the matter in a stronger light, dent they may, upon this footing, absolutely re: the question, I think, should be whether we fuse to pay any taxes at all. And if so, it have a general right of making slaves, or not.” would be much better for England, if it were consistent with her safety, to disclaim all further
A very proper state of the question. connexion with them, than to continue her pro “ And the Americans may be treated with as tection to them wholly at her own expense.” much equity, and even tenderness, by the Par
Why is it to be doubted, that they will liament of Great Britain, as by their own Assemnot grant what they ought to grant į No blies. This, at least, is possible, though perhaps complaint was ever yet made of their refusal not very probable.” or deficiency. He says, if they are not How can we Americans believe this, without reserve obliged to comply with the when we see almost half the nation paying requisitions of the ministry, they may abso- but one shilling and sixpence in the pound, lutely refuse to pay any taxes at all. Let while others pay full four shillings; and him apply this to the British Parliament, that there is not virtue and honesty enough and the reasoning will equally prove, that in Parliament to rectify this iniquity? How the Commons ought likewise to comply can we suppose they will be just to us at absolutely with the requisitions of the mi- such a distance, when they are not just to nistry. Yet I have seen lately the ministry one another? It is not, indeed, as the author demand four shillings in the pound, and the says, very probable. The unequal representa
tion, too, that prevails in this kingdorn, they Then leave it as it is. It was very well, are so far from having virtue enough to at- till you attempted alterations and novelties. tempt to remedy, that they make use of it
“ In respect to the article of levying taxes, it as an argument why we should have no should be deemed only a matter of grace, to be representation at all.
resumed at pleasure." “To the equity of this measure [an American Your humble servant! We thank you representation in Parliament) the Americans for nothing. Keep up your claim, and make themselves, I presume, could have nothing fairly the most of it. to object."
“To be placed upon a level with the rest of Provided they had an equitable number the subjects of the British crown, is the utmost of representatives allowed them.
the colonies can challenge !" “ As to those, indeed, which attend only the
No. They may challenge all that was choosing a new Parliament, they may, perhaps, promised them by charters to encourage by proper means, be considerably lessened, them to settle there. They have performed though not wholly removed."
their part of the contract, and therefore Let the old members continue till super- have a right to expect a performance of the seded by new ones from America.
They have, by the risks and "But should the king at any time be disposed expenses they have incurred, additional to dissolve his Parliament, and convene a new merit, and are therefore to be considered as one, as hath been often done, only at a few above the level of other subjects. weeks' notice, this, upon the same footing, could
“ We cannot otherwise maintain our sovenot be effected.”
reignty over it, unless our safety were actually By the above it might.
at stake and absolutely required it.” “ The method, however, of examining and I am quite sick of our sovereignty. Your deciding contested elections, when necessary, safety is only endangered by quarrelling must undoubtedly with respect to America be with the colonies ; not by leaving them to set, in a great measure, upon a different footing the free enjoyment of their own liberties. from that at present practised in this kingdom.”
“ They, who first migrated from England to Let the members be chosen by the Ame- settle in America, well knew, I presume, they rican Assemblies, and disputed elections were still to continue the subjects of the same settled there, if any; but there would be
They well knew the contrary. They “ It is not in the least, at this time, probable, would never have gone, if that had been that an American representation will ever be the case. They fled from your government, convened in England.”
which oppressed them. If they carried I think so too; where neither side approve your government with them, and of course a match, it is not likely to be made. your laws, they had better have stayed and • They will be almost wholly excluded the have added to it all the hardships of making
endured the oppression at home, and not benefit of private acts, by reason of the im
a new settlement. moderate expense.”
They carried not your
laws; but, had they carried your governmake them at home. The ex- ment and laws, they would now have been pense of private acts in England is shame subject to spiritual courts, tythes, church fully great.
acts of parliament, game acts, &c. &c., “ The repairing of highways, making their being out of the realm.
which they are not, and never were since rivers navigable, and cutting canals, with a variety of other things of the like kind, wherein They knew they were not to be independrecourse must be had to Parliament, and yet the ent." expense be supplied chiefly, if not wholly, by
They were to depend on the king only. private persons. All this may be done by their own laws
“For no one, I imagine, would doubt, if their at home.
charters granted them an inconsistent power, but
that they might be justly cancelled ; as no go “ This mode of compromise may as well be vernment can be supposed to alienate prerogawaived, as it cannot be effected, it is evident, tives necessary to its safe existence." without immense trouble."
Every government is supposed to be Very little.
compos mentis when it grants charters, and “And if they should be divided in their sen- shall not be allowed to plead insanity. If timents upon it, and uncertain what measures you break the charters, or violate them, you to adopt and follow, it cannot be matter of just dissolve all ties between us. wonder and censure.'
“ However, a right of sovereignty in this case