The rights of Great Britain asserted against the claims of America: being an answer to the declaration of the General Congress.
Macpherson, James, 1736-1796.
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WHEN Independent States take up arms, they endeavour to impress the World with a favourable opinion of their own cause, and to lay the blame of hostilities on the in|justice of their Opponents. But if Nations, ac|countable to none for their conduct, deem it ne|cessary to reconcile others to their proceedings, the necessity is still more urgent with regard to those who, breaking through every political duty, draw their swords against the State of which they own themselves the Subjects. The opinions of man|kind are invariably opposed to such men. Their assertions are heard with distrust, their arguments Page  2 weighed with caution; and, therefore, it is as ne|cessary for THEM to adhere to truth, in the former, as it is prudent to avoid sophistry in the latter.

This consideration, however obvious it may ap|pear to others, seems to have totally escaped the attention of the body of men who lately sat at Philadelphia under the name of "The General American Congress." In a paper published un|der the title of "A DECLARATION by the Re|presentatives of the United Colonies of North America"*, the facts are either wilfully or igno|rantly misrepresented; and the arguments deduced from premises that have no foundation in truth. But, as whatever falls from men who call them|selves the Representatives of a People, must fall with some degree of weight on the minds of the undiscerning part of mankind; it becomes, in some measure, necessary to examine briefly the reasons held forth by the Congress to justify the rebellion of their Constituents. On a subject so trite, ar|guments advanced by other Writers may sometimes recur; but novelty is less the object of this part of the disquisition, than perspicuity and precision.

The Declaration of the Congress begins with an involved period, which either contains no meaning, or a meaning not founded on the prin|ciples Page  3 of reason. They seem to insinuate, that no body of men, in any Empire, can exercise

"an unbounded authority over others;"
an opinion contrary to fact under every form of Government. No maxim in policy is more universally admitted, than that a supreme and uncontroulable power must exist somewhere in every State. This ultimate power, though justly dreaded and reprobated in the person of ONE MAN, is the first spring in every Political Society. The great difference, between the degrees of freedom in various Governments, consists merely in the manner of placing this ne|cessary discretionary power. In the British Em|pire it is vested, where it is most safe, in King, Lords, and Commons, under the collective ap|pellation of the Legislature. The Legislature is another name for the Constitution of the State; and, in fact, the State itself. The Americans still own themselves the subjects of the State; but if they refuse obedience to the laws of the Legis|lature, they play upon words, and are no longer Subjects, but Rebels. In vain have they affirmed that they are the Subjects of the King's preroga|tive, and not his Subjects in his legislative qua|lity; as the King, with regard to his Subjects in general, is to be considered only in his executive capacity as the great hereditary Magistrate, who carries into effect the laws of the Legislature, the Page  4 only discretionary and uncontroulable power in a free State.

The discretionary and uncontroulable authority of the British Legislature being granted, their right to tax all the Subjects of the British Empire can never be denied. Some ill-informed reasoners in politics have lately started an obsolete maxim, which has been seized with avidity by the Ame|ricans, That

"the Supreme Power cannot take from any one any part of his property without his consent;"
or in other words, That Represen|tation is inseparable from Taxation. The Colo|nists, say they, have no Representatives in Parlia|ment, and therefore Parliament has no right to tax the Colonists. Upon this principle, scarce one in twenty-five of the people of Great-Britain is re|presented. Out of more than seven millions, fewer than three hundred thousand have an exclusive right to chuse Members of Parliament; and, there|fore, more than three times the number of the Americans have an equal right with them to dis|pute the authority of the Legislature to subject them to taxes. The truth is, Representation never accompanied Taxation in any State. The Romans were a free nation; yet the Senate, that is, the great body of the Nobility, possessed the sole right of taxing the people. In this kingdom, the Page  5 House of Commons have an exclusive right of modifying and regulating the quantity of public supplies, and the manner of laying taxes: but the Commons, by their own authority, cannot en|force the raising the supplies they vote. That pri|vilege is inherent in the supreme and unac|countable power vested in the three branches of the Legislature united; who are in fact the State, as the virtual Representatives of the whole Em|pire, and not the delegates of individuals.

Why it has been so generally received as a maxim, in this country, That Taxation and Re|presentation are inseparable, requires to be ex|plained. Men, little acquainted with the Consti|tution, derived the opinion from their finding, that it is the indisputable right of the Com|mons, that all grants of subsidies and parlia|mentary aids should originate in their House. But though they first bestow those subsidies and aids, their grants, as has been already observed, have no effect without the assent of the other two branches of the Legislature. The common reason given for this exclusive privilege is, That as the supplies are raised upon the body of the people, the people only ought to have the right of taxing themselves. This argument would have been con|clusive, if the Commons taxed none but those by Page  6 whose suffrages they obtained their seats in Parlia|ment. But it has appeared, that more than seven millions of people, besides the Peers, who are in possession of so large a share of property in the kingdom, have no voice in the election of the Mem|bers who sit in the Lower House. The Commons, therefore, and their Constituents not being the only persons taxed, the former cannot possibly have the only right of raising and modelling the supply, from the mere circumstance of Representation. But if they have it not from Representation, they must in fact derive it from the supreme and discretion|ary power, which is reposed in them, in con|junction with the two other branches of the Legi|slature. It appears, upon the whole, that Taxa|tion is the result of that discretionary authority placed in the hands of the Legislature, and ex|erted by them for the necessary support of the State. To this authority the whole Empire must submit, and consequently no one of its subjects can claim any exemption.

The Counties Palatine of Chester, Durham, and Lancaster, were anciently in the same predicament with the Americans, on the article of Taxa|tion. The Earl of Chester and the Bishop of Durham became, by prescription and im|memorial Page  7 custom, possessed of a kind of regal jurisdiction, within their respective territo|ries. A similar form of Government was esta|blished by King Edward III. in the County of Lancaster; which was erected first into an Earldom, and then into a Dukedom, in the person of Henry Plantagenet; whose heiress carried the same rights and privileges to John of Gant, that King's fourth son, and his posterity. But though the SUBORDI|NATE SOVEREIGNS of these Counties could pardon treasons, murders and felonies; though they appointed all Judges, nominated all Justices of the Peace, and, in short, possessed exclusively the whole internal Government of their several Counties; their SUB|JECTS (if the expression may be used) were

"al|ways bound by the Acts and Statutes"
* of an Assembly, in which they had no Representatives. They were also
"liable to all payments, rates, and subsidies, granted by the Parliament of Eng|land"

Those Counties (it must be confessed), like the Americans, considered their being excluded from having Representatives in an Assembly by which Page  8 they were taxed, a grievance. Accordingly, the Town and County of Chester, as far back as the thirty-fifth of Henry VIII. petitioned the Legisla|ture for the privilege of sending Members to Par|liament; and their request was granted by an ex|press Statute*. The County and City of Durham made a similar application, and with the same suc|cess, in the twenty-fifth of Charles II. Had the Americans, instead of flying to arms, submitted the same supposed grievance, in a peaceable and dutiful manner, to the Legislature, I can perceive no reason why their request should be refused. Had they, like the County and City of Chester, represented, that

"for lack of Knights and Bur|gesses to represent them in the High Court of Parliament, they had been oftentimes TOUCHED and GRIEVED with Acts and Statutes made with|in the said Court, derogatory to their most an|cient jurisdictions, liberties and privileges, and prejudicial to their quietness, rest and peace;"
this Country would, I am persuaded, have no ob|jection to their being represented in her Parlia|ment.

Page  9 But the Colonies, though that circumstance is only insinuated in the Declaration, have uniformly affirmed, that granting the supremacy of Parlia|ment should extend over the whole Empire, yet that they themselves have a right to an exemption from Taxes either by the concessions of the Legi|slature, or by charters from the King. It seems incompatible with reason, say they, that the Co|lonies should have internal Legislatures of their own, possessing the authority of taxation, and that, notwithstanding, the British Parliament should re|tain its power of laying imposts. The first of these assertions is not founded in truth. The Charters give no exemption from Taxation; on the contrary, some of them expressly subject the Co|lonies to the supreme Legislature of Great-Britain; and had the Charters mentioned an exemption, the Legislature, by virtue of its supreme, universal, and discretionary power, can recal any rights they have conferred, when the good of the State renders that measure necessary. Though the King may give away by Charter a right that militates against himself, as hereditary Chief Magistrate, he cannot authorize, by any deed whatever, an exemption from the general laws of the State. In such a case ONE of the THREE branches of the Legislature would usurp the power of the THREE UNITED; a solecism as great in polity, as it is in mathe|maticks Page  10 to assirm, that a part is greater than the whole.

It may be necessary, perhaps, to make an apo|logy for entering so minutely into the argument in favour of the right of Taxation. The Americans themselves have deserted that ground. They speak no longer as subjects. They assume the language of rivals, and they act as enemies. The question between them and Great-Britain (for it is no longer between them and Government) consists of dependence or independence, connection or no connection, except on the footing of a Sovereign State. They have already arrogated to themselves all the functions of Sovereignty. They have formed a great deliberative Council. They have taken the whole executive power into their own hands. They have struck a new currency, raised armies, appointed generals; and that they have not chosen ANOTHER SOVEREIGN, must be ascribed more to their Republican principles, than to any remains of loyalty for their lawful Prince.

In this situation of affairs and opinions, it is matter of little surprize, that men who deny the autho|rity of the State should load the Legislature with opprobrious epithets. The Congress accordingly stigmatize Parliament with various charges of Page  11 tyranny, violence, and oppression. Passing from this strain of general scurrility, they enter into warm encomiums on the ancestors of their Consti|tuents. But they now deviate as much from truth in their applause, as they had done before in their censure. They affirm, that the ancestors of the Colonists obtained the lands which they have trans|mitted to the present race,

"without any charge to the country from which they removed."
Their very enemies could not wish to meet them on more advantageous ground. The sums ex|pended upon the various Provinces, since their first establishment, for their ordinary support, go|vernment, and protection, have been so enor|mous, that without the authority of incon|testible vouchers, they could scarcely obtain credit*.

Page  12 But, even granting that the Colonists had ob|tained their lands without any charge to the Mother-country, were they capable of keeping those lands without her assistance? Was it not to defend the Americans, that Great-Britain involved herself in the last expensive war? Did not those very

"United Provinces,"
who now pretend to set the power of this Kingdom at defiance, lay themselves in the dust at her feet, to claim her aid and protection against a SINGLE Colony? Did they not complain in the same abject terms with the Britons of old,
"That the Barbarians drove them into the sea, and that the sea drove them back on the Barbarians?"
Did not Great-Britain, like a Guardian Angel, stretch forth her hand to their aid; and, by expelling their enemies from the Continent of America, rescue them, not only from danger, but the very fear of danger? Did she not, over and above the many millions she ex|pended upon the fleets and armies employed in defence of the Colonies, advance more than ONE MILLION to pay THEIR own native forces, em|ployed in THEIR own Cause?

Page  13 Did not the Mother-country, with more than a mother's fondness, upon all occasions nourish, cherish, Page  14 and support this prodigal child, that left the house of his parent,

"to feed on husks, with the swine of the desart?"
Has she not (to sum up the whole in one point of view) uniformly protected the Colonies in war, encouraged their produce with bounties in time of peace, entered Page  15 into all their quarrels with their neighbours, made their enemies her own; and, for their sake, has she not, in some degree, subjected herself to an annual tribute to Indian savages, in whom ha|bitual injuries had raised an irreconcileable hatred to their oppressors? Did she not, too fatally, re|linquish great advantages on every other side of a successful war, to eradicate the very seeds of future contests in America; and, by giving the Colonies unlimited security from ABROAD, procure for them that prosperity at HOME, which has encouraged them, like parricides, to raise the dag|ger against her own breast?

The Congress, in the next paragraph of their Declaration, affect to reprobate the last Peace, though they have derived so many and so great advantages from that treaty. The conduct of the Americans ought also to induce this Kingdom to regret the stipulations she made for their secu|rity. Had Canada remained in the hands of the French, the Colonies would have remained duti|ful subjects. Their fears for themselves, in that case, would have supplied the place of their pre|tended affection for this Nation. They would have spoken more sparingly of their own resour|ces, as they might daily stand in need of our aid. Their former incapacity of defending themselves Page  16 would have always recurred to their minds, as long as the objects of their former terror should continue so near their borders. But their habi|tual fears from France were, it seems, removed only to give room to their ingratitude to Great-Britain.

The effrontery with which the Congress reprobate the late Peace, is scarcely equal to their folly in applauding the Minister who had car|ried on the war. With peculiar inconsistency they affect to commence an aera of

"Public Ruin,"
from Mr. Pitt's resignation in 1761; yet the whole
"object of their wishes"
is to be placed on the same footing as in the year 1763. They do not recollect, or rather they pretend to forget, that the most splendid actions in the war, happened after Mr. Pitt retired from his office. They are ignorant, or designedly conceal, that the com|merce of this kingdom has amazingly encreased, and, in consequence, its revenue, since the aera from which they date public ruin. They know, or they ought, from their own experience, to know, that notwithstanding their shutting their ports against our manufactures, permanent and profitable sources of commerce have been opened in other quarters; that instead of being distressed by their present interruption to trade, our Mer|chants Page  17 find themselves incapable of fulfilling their commissions from foreign states; that as the surest test of the flourishing condition of commerce, the course of exchange, to the amount of several per cents. is universally in favour of Great-Britain; and that, as the ultimate and in|vincible proof of the public prosperity, the con|fidence of the people in the measures of Govern|ment, and their contempt for the rebellious efforts of the refractory Colonies, the national Stocks suffer neither fluctuation nor fall in the price.

Having represented the pretended ruin brought upon the British Empire by the late Peace, the Congress descend to the fictitious grievances of America since the same period. They affirm, that

"the Colonies were judged to be in such a state, as to present victories without bloodshed, and all the easy emoluments of statutable plunder."
This figure of rhetoric, if it has any meaning, conveys one contrary to the truth. The Colonists having obtained such amazing ad|vantages by a Peace, which they now reprobate, it was deemed just and proper by Mr. Grenville, then at the head of the Treasury, that they should bear a proportionable share of the national burdens incurred by the war. But as their prior Page  18 inability to bear internal Taxes had precluded him from having a precedent, he only threw out, as it is vulgarly expressed, in the beginning of the year 1764, his intentions of raising a revenue in America by a Stamp-Duty, similar to that established in Great-Britain; referring the consideration of the whole af|fair to the next Session. His object was, to give time to the Colonies to propose some other mode of Taxation, should that suggested to Parliament ap|pear either improper or burdensome. During the whole of the summer 1764, though some discon|tented spirits murmured, not a single doubt was started against the ABSOLUTE RIGHT of Parliament to impose Taxes on every Member of the British Empire. The time allowed to the Colonies fur|nished them with no expedient for raising a tax more suitable to the purpose of a Revenue (which, by the bye, was to have been spent among them|selves); and, therefore, in the beginning of the year 1765, the famous Stamp-Act was passed, against a very inconsiderable Minority, in both Houses of Parliament.

In this Kingdom, as well as in every State possessed of freedom, there are always to be found factious persons, who oppose every measure of Go|vernment. In their eagerness to disgrace the Mi|nister, they too frequently obstruct the service, Page  19 and defeat the interests of their Country. Every side of a speculative point is armed with argu|ments, that may impose on the ignorant, and en|courage the sanguine. The Opposition in Parlia|ment, in short, committed themselves too far in favour of the prejudices of the Americans, with regard to the Stamp-Act, to support it with vi|gour, when they themselves, very unexpectedly*, came into Office, a few months after it had passed into Law. Though their view of the object chan|ged with their elevation, they found that the flame which their own factious speeches, in the preceding Session, had raised in America, was too vehement to be extinguished without conces|sions. A natural timidity of disposition, joined to the common want of firmness which accompa|nies novelty in Office, rendered them inclinable to purchase present quiet for themselves, at the ex|pence of the future advantage of their Country. But still they wavered on the point of irresolution, till Mr. Pitt's oratory weighed down the scale. The Stamp-Act was repealed; and from that mo|ment may be dated

"the commencement of"
what the Americans call
"an Aera of Public Ruin."

Page  20 To enter into the motives of Mr. Pitt's oratory, for the total and absolute repeal of the Stamp-Act, would be to desert a great and public subject for the sake of tracing the private views of an ambi|tious man. In his Argument, if what he advanced deserves the name, he fell in with the vulgar and, it may be said, false maxim, That no profit ought to be expected from the Colonies, but That result|ing from their Commerce. This opinion of Mr. Pitt, whether it proceeded from ignorance or de|sign (and it probably proceeded from both), has formed a popular error in former times, as well as in the present age. Many, who have pretended to understand perfectly the affairs of this kingdom, most firmly, but in my opinion very weakly, be|lieved that the great secret of our political interest consisted in forcing, in a manner, a monopoly of foreign commerce. It was from this persuasion, that the popular Orator used, upon the occasion just mentioned, a figure of rhetoric at once foolish and absurd, when he affirmed, that the Colonists should be prohibited

"from manufacturing even the hob|nail of a horse-shoe!"
One might be tempted to ask the Orator, how this prohibitory mandate could be enforced; or if it could, whether it is less arbi|trary, than to demand an internal tax from the Americans, for the support of their own govern|ment, and even for the general support of the State, Page  21 and as a suitable return for the protection which they have ever derived from the Government of this kingdom?

The Congress had surely forgot this strange rhetorical figure of the great Orator, when they were tempted to date PUBLIC RUIN, from his re|signation in 1761. They have also forgot, or they do not chuse to remember, that he ac|quiesced in the DECLARATORY BILL, brought in and passed by the Marquis of Rocking|ham's Party, who were in office, in the begin|ning of the year 1766. This Bill expresly declares,

"that all his Majesty's Colonies and Plantations in America have been, are and of right ought to be, subordinate to and dependent upon the Im|perial Crown and PARLIAMENT OF GREAT BRITAIN; who have full power and authority to make laws and statutes of sufficient validity to bind the Colonies and People of America, sub|jects of the Crown of Great Britain, IN ALL CASES WHATSOEVER."

Mr. Pitt, to preserve some degree of consistency, objected to the words

But his opposition was so languid, that he did not attend the House when the Bill was passed; and only five Peers were found to follow Page  22 his opinion, when it came under debate in the House of Lords.

"The Declaratory Act,"
as the American Congress affirms,
"comprehends all the grievances of which they complain."
Yet that very Congress, with pe|culiar effrontery, not only approve, but even praise the conduct of the very Party by whom the Bill was introduced, and the MAN, by whose CRIMINAL ACQUIESCENCE (to use one of his own phrases) it passed into a law. THAT Party and THAT MAN, being now in opposition to Govern|ment, the Americans endeavour to secure their support, by flattering their vanity at the ex|pence of truth! They forget past demerits in the hopes of present services. But when they expect to deceive a whole Party into their interest, they themselves are made the tools of that Party; and, like the figure of the Negro, near Temple-bar, are turned round by the machine, which they pre|tend to move.

The Congress, in a strain of eloquent adulation, speaks with raptures of

"that illustrious Band of distinguished Peers and Commoners,"
who now declaim, argue, and protest, in favour of their own Rebellion. It has appeared that the Act of which they most complain, was the manufacture of that Page  23 very
"illustrious Band,"
encouraged by the ne|gative opposition made by the Earl of Chatham, whose advice the Band followed, as it soon after appeared, to their own political destruc|tion. Besides, was it not under the Administra|tion of the Earl of Chatham, in the years 1767 and 1768, though the Americans date their mis|fortunes from the resignation of Mr. Pitt in Octo|ber 1761, that the Bills imposing internal duties, and consequently establishing internal Taxation in America, were passed into laws*? Did not the present Administration, whose measures the Con|gress affect to reprobate throughout, repeal all those Acts, except the duty on Tea, to gratify the prejudices of the Americans, and, if possible, to re-establish tranquility in all the Provinces? With what colour of reason, therefore, can the Ameri|cans lay the blame either of their real or pretended grievances on the Noblemen and Gentlemen now in office; and yet approve of the conduct of those very persons who passed the Declaratory Act, and followed it with Bills of imposts raised in the Colonies?

In reprobating the Declaratory Act, the Con|gress recur to their usual maxim, That Taxation Page  24 and Representation are inseparable. Though it has been already shewn, that they are as much repre|sented as twenty-four in twenty-five of the inhabi|tants of Great-Britain; though it has been prov|ed, that whole Provinces, not represented, had been for several ages subjected to imposts laid by the Legislature; though it shall, hereafter, appear that they themselves have been uniformly taxed by the British Parliament; this argument they hold forth as invincible, and found upon it their present re|sistance to the supremacy of the Parent-kingdom. In pursuing it injudiciously and too far, they actually discover the expediency, and even neces|sity of that supremacy, of which they so loudly complain. The Parliament of Great-Britain, say they, will certainly perceive,

"that an American revenue, if not diverted from the ostensible purposes for which it is raised, will actually lighten their own burdens, in proportion as they increase ours."
But is it not equitable, is it not just, is it not necessary, that all the subjects of the empire should bear, as equally as possible, the public burdens of the empire? Why should the Americans, who have so largely, so uniformly, and so effectually experienced the protection of Government, be the only persons exempted from paying their share of its expences? Is it either reasonable or suitable to the common usage of Na|tions, Page  25 that those who desert their country should enjoy greater privileges than those that remain? The Americans having been spared during the in|fancy of their Colonies on account of their poverty, endeavour to establish into an inherent right what was actually an indulgence.

Though this indulgence has been a source of error to the more ignorant part of the Americans, there are surely many among them, who know, that Parliament hath been uniformly accustomed to extend its supremacy over all the Colonies. In matters of revenue, in commerce, in civil, in all judicial regulations; and, in short, with regard to the general constitution of their government, the Provinces of North-America, till taught other|wise by a disappointed Faction in this Kingdom, allowed, that the whole fabrick of their polity might be new-modelled and reformed by the su|perintending power of Parliament. In fact, it has been so new-modelled and reformed, whenever abuses in the Administration of their Government, under their civil polity, or the general interest of the British Empire, made it necessary for Parliament to interpose its authority. Instances of this inter|position, in both cases, present themselves, in al|most every volume of the Statutes, from the Resto|ration down to the present reign; yet the Ameri|cans falsely insinuate, that it was in the present Page  26 reign the exercise of the authority of Parliament (except only in the regulation of trade) first com|menced.

A brief recital of some of those instances may throw light on a subject, rendered obscure and perplexed by the prejudices of the ignorant, and the arts of designing men. To gain the ears of the Populace, by awakening their ancient jea|lousies, the Americans affect to ascribe the present system of measures to principles of Toryism, which, they pretend, prevail in our Councils. But, unfortunately for this part of their plan of decep|tion, it will appear, that most of the Acts which bind America in coercive regulations, were passed soon after the Revolution; in the reign of the very Prince, who brought about that great event. The WHIG Ministers of King William (perceiving that the Colonies, even then, had entertained views of placing themselves on a ground of inde|pendence on Parliament) advised their Sovereign, and their advice now stands on record, to pursue measures, which, in their consequence, should effectually secure their thorough dependence on the Legislature of this Kingdom.

In consequence of the advice given by a WHIG Ministry to a King who had mounted the throne Page  27 upon WHIG principles; and also upon the ful|lest evidence of the frauds and abuses committed in the Plantations, in violation of the Act of Navi|gation; the Act of the 7th and 8th of William III.

"for preventing frauds, and regulating abuses, in the Plantations"
was passed. By that Act, a power was given to the Commissioners of the Trea|sury and Customs in England,
"to establish ports, and appoint Officers, in the Plantations; and those Officers to have the same authority for visiting ships and goods, and entering houses and warehouses, as was exercised by the same Officers in England."

All penalties and forfeitures were made recover|able in the Courts at Westminster, or in Courts of Admiralty, in the Plantations; which Courts were then, for the first time, established throughout all America. In any action or suit concerning his Majesty's Duties, the offence might be laid in any precinct or division of the Plantations, where the same should be alledged to have been com|mitted, at the discretion of the Officer or Informer. All laws, by-laws, usages and customs repugnant to any laws of Great Britain which relate to the Plantations, or mention the same, are declared

"illegal, null, and void."
Many other restrictions, Page  28 too tedious to be mentioned, were at the same time enacted and imposed.

But it was not in matters of Trade ONLY, that Parliament, during the reign of King William, superintended and controuled the Colonies. The Colonists, it was found, had encouraged Pirates, in various places; and no justice could be obtained in THEIR Courts against offenders, whom they openly abetted. To remedy this shameful abuse, a remarkable Act was passed, in the 11th and 12th of William III. This Act abolished all jurisdiction in that case, in the Courts in the Plantations. The SOLE power of trying such offences, in the Colonies, was vested in Commissioners, appointed under the Great Seal of England, or Seal of the Admiralty, according to the course of the Admiralty, that is to say, WITHOUT JURY. The Commissioners were also impowered to issue warrants, in any of the Colonies, for arresting such Pirates or their ac|cessaries. They might, at discretion, either try the criminals in America, or send them to Eng|land to be tried. Should the Governors of any Charter or Proprietary Government refuse to assist the Commissioners; should any person in authority, in the Colonies, refuse to pay obedience to the Act; Page  29 such refusal, in either case, was declared to be a forfeiture of the Charter.

An Act passed in the 10th and 11th year of the same reign, confines the advantage of the Fishery of Newfoundland to British ships fitted out from Great-Britain. The execution of the orders and regulations respecting that Fishery, was placed in the hands of the Admirals, in the respective harbours; that is to say, in the hands of the Master of the ship that should first arrive from Great-Britain. The decision in all questions of civil suit is vested in such Admirals, with appeal to the Commander of the King's ships. All criminal offences are to be tried, in any County of England, by the King's Com|missioners of Oyer and Terminer and Goal deli|very.

The opinions of this Nation concerning the Government of the Colonies, may be collected from the above Acts. The authority of Parliament to bind America, in all cases whatsoever, and when|ever the general interest of the whole Empire re|quired it, was never disputed; and it was often exerted to correct abuses, and to suppress the ideas of independence, which began, even then, to be Page  30 cherished by the Colonies. The same principles, and the same policy, were carried down by Parlia|ment through the three succeeding reigns of Queen Anne, and of George I. and George II.

Early in the first of those reigns, the grossest abuses were committed by the petty Legislatures in the Colonies, with respect to Coin. The interposition of Parliament became necessary to correct those abuses. An Act was passed in the 6th of Queen Anne, for that purpose; when the Coun|cils of that Princess were guided by Whigs. By this Act the rates of Foreign Coin, in the Planta|tions, were ascertained; and a severe punishment was inflicted on those who should take them at higher rates. The American Trade was placed in the same reign under further restrictions, by Act of Parliament. Rice and Molasses were added to the list of enumerated commodities. In the reign of George I. Furrs and Copper-ore of the Plan|tations were subjected to the same restrictions.

The British Parliament confined not to Acts their sense of the undoubted right they possessed of controuling the Colonies, in all cases whatsoever. In the Journals of both Houses, there are many Proceedings which furnish proofs of their unde|viating Page  31 adherence to the same principles. In the year 1702, a Bill was brought into the House of Commons, for abolishing all the Charter and Pro|prietary Governments in America, and reuniting them to the Crown. In 1705, the House of Lords came to several Resolutions on the subject of laws enacted in several of those Governments. They declared those laws to be repugnant to the laws of England, and destructive to the Constitu|tion. This proceeding was likewise followed by a Bill for abolishing those Charters.

These Bills, it must be confessed, were not car|ried into laws. But they did not fail, through any doubt entertained by the Legislature against their propriety. They were lost through a change in the situation of those, who brought forward the measure. That the opinion of the Legislature continued the same on this subject, is evident; as the same proposition was again taken up in the year 1716; when a WHIG Ministry governed the Kingdom.

In the reign of George II. the instances of the controuling authority of Parliament over the Co|lonies, are more numerous and striking. By an Act of the 2d of George II. Chap. 35. severe pro|hibitions Page  32 and penalties are imposed and inflicted on such persons as shall cut and destroy whole Pine|trees. Though such trees are growing within the limits of a Township, the penalties are directed to be sued for and recovered in the Courts of Admi|ralty. The Merchants of Great-Britain having, in the 5th of the same reign, preferred a Petition to Parliament, complaining of the difficulties they met with in the recovery of debts in the Planta|tions; an Act was passed, which subjected all real Estates in the Colonies to just debts and demands; and to be assets, in the same manner as in England, for the satisfaction of debts due by Bond. The ex|portation of Hats from any of the Colonies, and even the conveyance of them by land from one Colony to another, is prohibited, under severe penalties, by an Act passed in the same Session.

In the year 1733 the Province of Massachusett's-Bay presented a Petition to the House of Com|mons, praying that they might be heard by Coun|sel on the subject of Grievances. The chief of these was,

"That the Crown had restrained their Governour, by instructions, in certain cases re|lative to the issue and disposal of Public Money, and the emission of Paper-Bills of Credit."
The Commons, having considered the matter, came to a Page  33 Resolution,
"That the Petition was frivolous and groundless, a high insult upon his Majesty's Go|vernment, and tending to SHAKE OFF THE DE|PENDENCY of the said Colony upon this King|dom, to which in LAW and RIGHT THEY OUGHT TO BE SUBJECT."
Complaint having, at the same time, been made to the House,
"That the Representatives of that Colony had CENSURED a person for giving evidence, before a Committee of the House, in the case of a Bill then depend|ing in Parliament;"
it was resolved,
"That the passing such censure was an AUDACIOUS PRO|CEEDING, and a high violation of the privi|leges of the House."
A Committee was ac|cordingly appointed to enquire who were the abettors of this unwarrantable proceeding.

We may perceive, from the above circumstance, how jealous Parliament HAVE BEEN of their su|premacy and uncontroulable authority over the Colonies. Another instance must carry the proof of this position beyond the power of reply. In the year 1740, the House of Commons entered into a consideration of

"the abuses committed in the Colonies, in respect to the emission of Paper Bills of Credit."
After a long examination, they came to various Resolutions. They resolved, Page  34
"That the Act passed in the 6th of Queen Anne, ascertaining the rates of Foreign Coin in America, had not been duly observed. That many indi|rect practices, in that respect, had been introduced, contrary to the true intent of the Act. That an Address should be presented to his Majesty to require the Governors of his Colonies to take effectual measures for the strict observance of the Act of the 6th of Queen Anne. That another Address should be presented, request|ing his Majesty to issue his Royal Proclamation, to settle and ascertain the rates of Foreign Gold Coins. That the CREATING and issuing Bills of Credit, in the British Colonies, by virtue of Acts of Assembly, had frustrated the design of the Act of the 6th of Queen Anne. That an humble Address of Thanks should be presented to his Majesty, for the orders he has already given on that head; and, That he should also be requested to require and command the Go|vernors of the respective Provinces, not to give their assent to any Act, whereby Bills of Credit might be issued in lieu of Money."

These spirited Resolutions of the Commons checked, for some time, the abuses in the emission Page  35 and circulation of Paper-Money. The New-England Government, however, did not continue long to pay any regard to ROYAL Instructions, though supported and enforced by the authority of the House of Commons. The frauds committed awakened again the attention of Parliament. In the 24th of George II. an Act was passed,

"to regulate and restrain Paper-bills of Credit in the Four New-England Governments."
The Go|vernors of those Colonies were prohibited, under pain of being removed from their Governments, and for ever rendered incapable of any public office or place of trust, from assenting to any Act, Order, or Vote, for the issue of any Paper-bills of Credit; and all such Acts, Orders, or Votes, were declared to be, ipso facto, null and void.

In the year 1741 the Colonies took up the idea of a LAND-BANK, which had proved so unsuccess|ful in England in the reign of King William. The

"American Assemblies,"
it appeared to Parliament,
"had PRESUMED to publish a scheme for supplying a pretended want of a medium in trade, for setting up a Bank on land security, and to solicit subscriptions."
To correct this evil, an Act was passed, in the 14th of George II. Page  36
"to restrain and prevent such unwarrantable prac|tices; and to extend to America, the penalties inflicted by a Statute of the 6th of George I. on persons guilty of such practices in these king|doms."
They were also subjected, by the same Act, to the penalty and forfeiture ordained by the Statute of provision and PREMUNIRE of the 16th of Richard the Second.

There are several other Statutes by which Par|liament with equal force assert their authority over the Colonies. In some of these they carry this authority beyond the limits, with which they have hitherto circumscribed it in this Kingdom. In the 29th of George II. cap. 35. Officers of the Army are empowered to enlist, in the Colonies, ap|prentices and indented servants. The persons so enlisted were exempted from arrests in civil actions, where the value of the action exceeds not ten pounds. To these striking instances of the con|trouling power of Parliament over the Colonies, may be added the Act of 23d of George II. cap. 29. By that Act,

"every person erecting or working any mill or other engine for slitting or rolling iron, or any plating forge or furnace for making steel, is subjected to a penalty of 200l. to be recovered in any of the Courts in Westminster-Hall, Page  37 or in the Court of Exchequer in Scot|land."

The foregoing recital of Statutes binding the Colonies, prior to the present reign, of which the Congress so much complain, is sufficient to con|vince the dispassionate, that the controuling power of Parliament has been perpetually exerted, and never disputed. There is hardly any object of Legislation in which the laws of this Country have not bound America. Taxation has been purposely omitted in the above detail. That article, as the great object of contest, ought to be separately stated. I shall, therefore, throw into one point of view, all the instances of the exercise of the power of the British Parliament in that case.

The first instance of Taxation is the Act of the 12th of Charles II. for granting to the Crown a duty of Tonnage and Poundage. This Act is in point. It directs, that the duties abovementioned

"shall be payable upon commodities not only imported into the realm of England, but also into the DOMINIONS THEREUNTO BELONGING."
The Colonies are here included in express words. It is true, indeed, that the Duties of Tonnage Page  38 and Poundage were NOT collected in America. The reason was, that the commerce of the Plantations was so inconsiderable, that the revenue arising from it could not pay the expence of collection.

But whatever might have been the reason for NOT collecting the Duties of Tonnage and Poundage in the Colonies, the Law was certainly understood to extend to America. In the year 1680, the Assem|bly of the Island of Jamaica refused

"to raise levies for the support of Government."
Upon this refusal, the Lords of the Council made a Minute
"to confer with the Judges upon the question: Whether the subsidies upon the Tonnage and Poundage upon goods that may by Law, or shall be directly carried to Jamaica, be not payable, according to Law, by his Majesty's subjects inhabiting that Island, or trading there, by virtue of the Acts of Tonnage and Poundage, or other Acts made in England?"
Unfortunately it does not appear, whether the conference was ever held; or if it was actually held, what was the result.

The 25th of Charles II. cap. 7. is the next Act that binds America, in point of Taxation. By that Act certain duties are made payable in the Plantations, upon sugar, tobacco, cotton, wool, Page  39 indigo, ginger, logwood, fustic, and other dying woods, and cocoa-nuts exported to any other place, except England. These Duties continue to be paid to this day.

In the 9th of Queen Anne, an Act was passed, imposing certain Duties on all prize-goods taken in America, and imported into any of the Colonies. These Duties were as follows:

"All European goods (wine and brandy excepted) which have been usually sent to the Plantations, are to pay THERE such Customs, as are payable for the like goods imported into the Plantations from Great-Britain. Other goods taken as prizes shall be liable THERE to such Duties as were payable for the same, by any Act of Assembly, in the said Plantations."

To these Acts, subjecting his Majesty's sub|jects in America to Taxes imposed by the British Parliament, several others may be added. The Act of the 9th of Queen Anne, for establishing a Post-office. The various Acts passed for levying and inforcing the collection of the duty of six|pence per month, out of Seamen's wages, for the support of Greenwich Hospital. All these Page  40 Acts extend to America. They bind the Colonies, as well as the Mother-Country. Their authority was never disputed; and the Taxes imposed by them have been uniformly raised. The Act of the 2d of George II. cap. 7. is still more explicit and decisive in the words. It requires the pay|ment of the Duties for Greenwich Hospital,

"by seamen belonging to American ships, whether employed upon the high seas, or in any port, harbour, bay or creek, within ANY of the Co|lonies."

It appears from this detail of facts, that the right of Parliament to bind the Colonies, in all cases whatsoever, is not a claim founded on mere theory: on the contrary, that the controuling power of the Legislature is warranted by constant usage, and uninterrupted practice. That the De|claratory Act, of which the Americans complain, contains no new, no assumed powers over the Plantations; and that there is scarce any channel of Legislation, through which the British Parlia|ment has NOT exerted its supremacy, in as full and ample a manner as it has been exerted over the inhabitants of Great-Britain; and all this prior to the present reign, in which the Congress place the commencement of

"Public Ruin."

Page  41 The American Congress, with a partiality for themselves scarcely consistent with their design of gaining others, in the next paragraph of their De|claration, call the Acts, which were the CONSE|QUENCE of the resistance of their constituents, the CAUSE of their rebellion. In descending to particu|lars, their first complaint is stated against

"the ex|tension of the jurisdiction of the Courts of Admi|ralty and Vice-Admiralty beyond their former limits;"
by which, they alledge,
"the subject is deprived of his inherent right of a trial by Jury."
The Congress surely forget, or it is not consistent with their design to remember, that the alterations of which they complain were made at the request of their constituents. The rea|sons assigned for this request were, that the Courts of Admiralty established formerly in the various Provinces, possessed so little dignity, on account of the dependence and poverty of the judges, that justice was either sacrificed to connexions, or bi|assed by avarice. Besides that, Appeals to Great-Britain could be seldom made, on account of the expence and distance. To remedy this evil, the present establishment of Courts of Admiralty in America was formed. Four great Courts of Vice-Admiralty were erected. The Judges were ren|dered independent by ample salaries. The line Page  42 of Appeal became short, easy, and obvious; and as to trial by Jury, the whole world knows that the Court of Admiralty in England never admitted that mode of trial in CIVIL cases.

The complaint of the Congress, with regard to the Bill for shutting the Port of Boston, is ri|diculous as well as unjust, as the inhabitants of that place had it in their own power to remove the grievance. The destruction of the East-India Company's tea, at Boston, is well known to have been the deliberate act of a very great majority of the inhabitants. To obtain reparation by the common course of law was impossible, where the number of the offenders screened them effectu|ally from justice. It was a public crime, and the punishment ought to have been general. In pur|suance of that plan of tenderness, which has been fatally lost on the Americans, the Bill for sus|pending the trade of Boston was rendered condi|tional. A door was left open for an immediate reconciliation, should the Assembly of Massachu|set's-Bay make a public grant, for repairing the damage sustained, by a Company of Merchants, through a public outrage. Yet the Congress stigmatize with the name of injustice, a coer|cive statute rendered absolutely necessary by Page  43 the shameless depredations of the inhabitants of Boston; and which statute, they themselves had it in their power to terminate, in an instant, by doing an act of common justice.

With equal effrontery, and with still less reason, the Congress exclaim against the alteration made in the form of the government of Boston. With their usual fallacy in argument, the Americans wish to establish it as a maxim in polity, That Charters granted by the CROWN, can neither be reversed or altered by the LEGISLATURE. They might as well go at once to the whole supremacy; and save themselves the trouble of thus supporting a cause untenable on any other grounds. The three branches of the Legislature united make daily al|terations in the Constitution of Great Britain; and, if their Supremacy extends over the whole empire, they have the same right to alter the constitution of the American Colonies. If the Americans deny this position, all argument is at an end; and they avow an independence, which, in THEIR circumstances, marks them out for enemies. After all, this alteration of which the Congress affect to complain, is no more than putting the inhabitants of Massachuset's-Bay on the same footing with the other Colonies. They have re|ceived in miniature the counter-part of the con|stitution Page  44 of the Mother-Kingdom; and have THEY a right, or can THEY wish to be more free than the freest nation in the world?

The Act for regulating the Government of Quebec, furnishes the Congress with an ample field for declamation. To inveigh against Po|pery and Arbitrary Power has been ever a fa|vourite topic with men, who wish to profit by the prejudices of the people. Had the Congress attended to the general principles of the British Constitution, they might have informed them|selves, that His Majesty, without the inter|position of the two other branches of the Legis|lature, might have permitted the inhabitants of Canada to remain for ever under French laws. There is no maxim in the Law of England more generally known or less controverted than, That in conquered or ceded countries, which have al|ready laws of their own, such laws remain in full force, till they are altered and changed by the Sovereign. Had His Majesty, therefore, enter|tained such designs, as the Congress obliquely lay to his charge, why should he call in the aid of the Legislature to execute what was already done by the Common Law? The Congress will not, surely, affirm, that the system of govern|ment established by the Legislature in Quebec, Page  45 is so arbitrary in itself, or so fit for the purposes of despotism, as the Constitution which subsist|ed in that Province under the French. Ought they not to consider, that no other form of government could have been established, so suitable to the disposition of the inhabitants, the tenures of their property, and the toleration of their religion, to all which they had an undoubt|ed right, by the terms of their Capitulation and the articles of the subsequent Treaty of Peace?

The Opposition at HOME, as well as the Patriots ABROAD, have found an extensive subject for pa|thetic eloquence, in the form of Government now established by Law in Canada. The FORMER have either very treacherous memories, or they change without any ceremony their opinions with their situation. Under the administration of the EARL of CHATHAM, Mr. Morgan, Lord SHELBURNE'S Secretary, was sent PRIVATELY to America, as Commissioner, to settle and regulate a new code for the Government of Quebec. The Governor and Chief Justice of that Province, if I am not mistaken, were joined with Morgan in this SECRET, but important commission. The measure, it is said, was considered by the Board of Trade; it was certainly debated, if not adopted by the Cabinet, Page  46 as far back as the year 1767, during the plenitude of the Earl of Chatham's power. Lord Camden was Chancellor, and gave his sanction to regulations MORE ALLIED TO DESPOTISM than those he repro|bates at present. The Duke of Grafton, the Earl of Shelburne, General Conway, and several others of

"that illustrious Band,"
on whose virtues the Ame|ricans expatiate with rapture, approved this POPISH, ARBITRARY, TYRANNICAL system of Government*: yet all these are, now, true Americans, strenuous Protestants, Whigs of the ancient mould, determined assertors of public freedom, avowed enemies to OPPRESSION, POPERY, and ARBITRARY POWER!

The Congress enumerate, among their com|plaints against the British Legislature, the Reso|lution of Parliament to give its due force to an unrepealed statute passed in the time of Henry VIII. It is declared in the Resolution, that upon this statute, treasons and misprisions of treason com|mitted in any of his Majesty's dominions beyond sea, subject to the Crown of Great-Britain, may be tried in England. Though this Resolution is considered by the Congress as a part of the ideal Page  47 system of enslavement, with which they charge the King and Parliament, it contains no novelty, no uncommon stretch of law. A thousand in|stances of the same kind are upon record, long before the present disputes with America began. One instance is extremely remarkable; I mean, the transactions in the Case of the Insurrection in Antigua, in the year 1711. All the proceedings were founded on the Act of Henry VIII. Some of the Insurgents were sent to England; they were tried upon that Statute; and that circumstance has es|tablished a precedent which cannot be controverted. But had even a new law of this kind been made, what reason could the American Congress have to complain? Have not the prejudices, insur|rections, and even rebellion of their own country|men totally interrupted the common course of justice over all the vast Continent which they in|habit; and shall the generality of the crime be ad|mitted a competent excuse against punishment?

From condemning the Acts of the Legislature, the Congress pass to complaints against their So|vereign, as well as his principal servants. They alledge, that the

"Americans have incessantly and ineffectually besieged the Throne for ten years;"
yet conceal the reason, which was, Page  48 That their demands, rather than requests, were such as the Sovereign could not grant, consistent with the powers vested in him by the Constitution. They complain, that fleets and armies have been sent to their country, to enforce the coercive laws enacted by the Legislature, for the establish|ment of its supremacy; yet they pass over in silence the outrages committed by themselves, which rendered that measure necessary. Did they not draw the sword with one hand, when the other was stretched forth with petitions for relief from pretended grievances? Did they not purchase arms, ammunition, and artillery, form maga|zines, enlist soldiers, and prepare, in every re|spect, for rebellion and war, when they affected to speake the language of submission and peace?

All these are facts that cannot be controverted. The Congress know the truth, but pursue their plan of deception.

"They hoped in vain,"
they say,
"for moderation in their enemies";
yet their own conduct has been one continued series of violence, oppression, and injustice. Having dis|claimed their allegiance to the Sovereign, dis|obeyed the acts of the Legislature, destroyed the property, and insulted the persons of the servants of the State, assumed the functions of sovereignty, and rushed into actual rebellion; they complain Page  49 of a want of moderation in Government, for ex|erting the power vested in it by the Constitution, for restoring tranquillity, enforcing legal submission to the laws of the State, and for protecting the injured and punishing the guilty.

Throughout the whole of their strange Decla|ration, the American Congress appear to adapt their reasonings to the weakness of the prejudiced, and their facts to the credulity of the ignorant. They affirm, that they have uniformly endea|voured to procure an accommodation with the Mother-Country; yet they reprobate the Resolu|tion of the Commons, on the 20th of February, which opened a fair channel for agreement. They call the Resolution

"an insidious manoeuvre, cal|culated to divide the Americans, and to esta|blish a perpetual auction of taxation, where Colony should bid against Colony, all of them uninformed what ransom should redeem their lives; and thus to extort from them, at the point of the bayonet, the unknown sums that should be sufficient to gratify, if possible to gratify ministerial rapacity, with the miserable indulgence left them of raising, in their own mode, the prescribed tribute."
We may learn, from this tedious and involved sentence, how much Page  50 the Congress have profited by the speeches of Pa|triotism in the British Parliament. A noted Orator, who has been suspected of having penned the DECLARATORY BILL, (which, the Congress alledge contains the whole mass of American grievances,) used almost the same words in the House of Commons, on the day the Resolution came under debate. But former demerits have been forgot, in what the American Demagogues foolishly construe into present services.

To shew the nature of the Proposition which the Congress stigmatize with the name of an

"in|sidious manoeuvre,"
some previous facts must be explained. On the second of February, a Motion was made in the House of Commons, for an Address to his Majesty, which was soon after presented, with the concurrence of the Lords. In this Address, the two Houses having stated some facts, were induced to declare, that a rebellion actually existed at that time in the Province of Mas|sachuset's bay: That this conduct was the more in|excusable, when it was considered with how much temper his Majesty and the two Houses of Parlia|ment had acted, in support of the Laws and Con|stitution of Great-Britain: That they were resolved never so far to desert the trust reposed in them, as to relinquish ANY PART of the SOVEREIGN AU|THORITY Page  51over ALL his MAJESTY'S DOMINIONS, which the law invested in his Majesty and the two Houses of Parliament: That the conduct of the Americans was sufficient to convince them of the necessity of this supremacy and power: hat, however, they had always been, and always should be ready to pay attention and regard to any real grievances, which should be laid before them in a DUTIFUL and CONSTITUTIONAL manner: That they requested his Majesty to take the most effec|tual measures to enforce due obedience to the laws and authority of the Supreme Legislature: And that they were resolved, at the hazard of their lives and fortunes, to support his Majesty against all rebellious attempts, in the maintenance of the just rights of his Majesty and the two Houses of Parliament.

In this Address the two Houses of Parliament, while they held forth the Sword in one hand, evi|dently tendered the Olive-branch with the other. The Americans themselves were made the ar|biters of their own fate. The choice of war or peace was left in their own hands. But as the offer of Parliament to listen to the real grievances of the Colonists was deemed too general to form a foundation for an agreement between them and the Mother-country, the Minister, wishing to con|ciliate Page  52 matters with America, even contrary to the opinion of many Friends to this Country, laid before the House of Commons some EXPLICIT PROPOSITIONS, which might answer that end. Ac|cordingly, on the twentieth of February, the fol|lowing Propositions were introduced to a Com|mittee of the whole House, by the Chancellor of the Exchequer:

"That it is the opinion of this Committee, that when the Governor, Council, and Assembly, or General Court of his Majesty's Provinces or Colonies shall propose to make pro|vision according to their respective conditions, circumstances, and situations, for contributing their proportion to the common defence; such proportion to be raised under the authorities of the General Court, or General Assembly of such Province or Colony, and disposable by Parlia|ment; and shall engage to make provision also for the support of the Civil Government, and the administration of justice in such Province or Colony; it will be proper, if such proposal shall be approved by his Majesty in Parliament, and for so long as such provision shall be made accordingly, to forbear in respect of such Pro|vince, or Colony, to levy any duties, tax, or assessment, or to impose any further duty, tax, or assessment, except only such duties as it may be expedient to impose for the regulation of Page  53 Commerce; the nett produce of the duties last mentioned, to be carried to the account of such Province, Colony, or Plantation respectively."

This Resolution, which was carried by a great majority, plainly marked the ground for a nego|tiation, and an equitable agreement with the Co|lonies. It was moderate, comprehensive, and explicit. It named the persons from whom the proposals must come, and those to whom they were to be made. The end and purpose of the Con|tribution were explained. The appropriation of the expected revenue was specified, and precluded every suspicion of its being misapplied. Though the offer was conditional, it was plainly conclu|sive, as long as the Americans themselves should adhere to the agreement. They had it in their power to tax themselves, the great point for which they professed to contend; and the only right re|served by the Legislature was to determine the QUANTUM of the supply; and they alone can de|termine it, as being the supreme power, who are the sole judges of what is necessary to support the State. The Proposition, upon the whole, was AT LEAST as favourable to the pretensions of the Americans, as to the claims of the Mother-Country. The former, therefore, must have accepted the Page  54 proposal, had what they held forth to the Public formed the real principles of their opposition.

The Minority in Parliament, who deemed no|thing so fatal to their own views, as an agreement with the Americans, upon equitable, and conse|quently permanent terms, opposed this Proposi|tion as insidious in its nature, and for that pur|pose rendered obscure and perplexed in its lan|guage. The American Demagogues, whose in|fluence can only exist in the midst of anarchy and confusion, opposed it with similar views. The latter, indeed, have approved so much of the SENTIMENTS, or rather PROFESSIONS of the former, that they have, in their Declaration, echoed back their very words in Parliament. The argument before went only to the claim of the Americans to be permitted, in their Assemblies, to settle the mode of Taxation. They then demanded an ex|clusive privilege of fixing the amount or quan|tum of the supply; and now they will give no supply at all. But if neither the mode nor the QUANTUM is to be left in the power of Parliament, what power has Parliament left, with regard to the taxing of the Americans? Ought the BRITISH LEGISLATURE to lay HUMBLY the wants of the Public before the PETTY LEGISLATURES of Page  55 America, and request their aid for the general support of Government? What would this be, but the total emancipation of the Colonies from that supremacy for which we contend?

The Americans, formerly, declared themselves willing to contribute to the exigences and expences of the State, provided the demand should come by requisition from the King, and not by an imme|diate exertion of Parliamentary authority. This offer his Majesty declined, with that patriotism which has uniformly marked his OWN measures, during his reign. Anxious for the happiness of ALL his subjects, he chose to be the Monarch of ONE great and free nation, rather than the Sove|reign of a number of petty States, weakened by their own disunion. Had his Majesty been actuated by those motives of ambition, which are not uncom|mon among Princes, he would have eagerly closed with the offers of the Americans. Instead of mak|ing himself dependent, for the maintenance of his dignity, upon the grants of ONE Assembly, he might have extricated himself from even the fear of pe|cuniary difficulties, by a proper management of many Assemblies. The Representatives of one Pro|vince might be gratified into the views of the Crown, from the revenue of another; British Mem|bers might receive the wages of corruption in Page  56 America; and American Representatives be sent for the price of their votes to this Kingdom.

But succeeding events have demonstrated, that the Americans were not sincere, in any one of their declarations, in favour of an amicable accommoda|tion. The Propositions voted, on the 20th of Fe|bruary, came up to their own former demands; yet they evaded them, by treating them as insidious. The truth is, they knew their own demerits to|wards this Country, and they could not believe, that proposals so highly favourable could have been, on her part, sincere. One good, however, has resulted from the Propositions. The Colonies, by rejecting them, have left no doubt remaining concerning their real intentions. They confine no longer their claims to the exclusive privilege of taxing themselves. They aim, evidently, at a total independence in all matters whatsoever; and more particularly with regard to the Act of Navigation. They have long made secret but most dangerous encroachments on this PALLADIUM of our Commerce. They now publickly avow their resolution to pay no regard to any Parliamentary restrictions, whether ancient or recent, on THEIR Commerce. They now openly trade all over Eu|rope; and the obtaining the privilege, which they have, at length, usurped, has been the primary Page  57 cause of their resistance to Parliament. The manufacturers and merchants of this Country have been long no strangers to this American po|licy; yet the Congress have the effrontery to ex|pect, that the mercantile interest of Great Britain will espouse their cause.

The American Congress, having in a loose, cursory, and superficial manner, advanced some pretended arguments to justify their rebellion, descend to the misrepresentation of facts, with the same design. They affirm,

"That General Gage, who had occupied Boston as a garrison, sent out a large detachment of his army, on the 19th of April, who made an unprovoked assault on the inhabitants of the Province of Boston, at Lexington."
On this allegation of the Con|gress, it may be remarked, that the rebellious conduct of the Town of Boston, where all the au|thority of legal government had been long extin|guished by the tyranny of a rabble instigated by factious leaders, had rendered a force necessary in that place, to restore order and tranquillity, to protect the innocent, and to restrain the excesses of the turbulent and guilty. That the military pre|parations made in all parts of the Province, and especially at the Town of Concord, with the avowed intention of opposing all legal authority, Page  58 induced and even forced General Gage (though fatally too late) to send out a detachment of the troops under his command, to prevent hostilities, by seizing the means of carrying them on. That some of the Inhabitants of the Province, in
"war|like array,"
stood in the way of this detach|ment, with arms in their hands; and that when or|dered to remove in a peaceable manner, they made
"an unprovoked assault"
on his Majesty's troops, by firing FIRST upon them, and killing some, and wounding many.

The audacity of the Congress, in asserting FALSEHOODS, demands a brief detail of the TRUTH. General Gage, having been informed, that arms, ammunition, cannon, and other implements of war, had been collected in the town of Concord, ordered a detachment of the Army to march with all possible secrecy to that place. He gave orders to the detachment, to observe the most strict discipline, and to resent no insults offered them by the country people, except actual hos|tilities. The General's orders were, in truth, too implicitly observed. There was not one LOADED MUSQUET in the whole detachment, except those in the hands of FIFTY Marines, who formed the van, when they were FIRED upon, by the country people, at Lexington. The affidavits of the Page  59 rebels, on this subject, are impositions and perjuries. There is not a man, whether officer or soldier, in the whole detachment, consisting of 800 men, but is ready, in the most solemn manner, to attest the truth of this fact.

It were to be wished, for the honour of the insurgents, that their BARBAROUS CRUELTY to the wounded soldiers, were more problematical than their firing FIRST on the King's troops. The soldiers who fell by the first fire of the rebels, were found scalped, when the detachment returned from Concord to Lexington Bridge. Two sol|diers who lay wounded on the field, and had been scalped by the savage Provincials, were still breath|ing. They appeared, by the traces of blood, to have rolled in the agonies of this horrid species of death, several yards from the place where they had been scalped. Near these unfortunate men, another dreadful object presented itself. A sol|dier who had been slightly wounded, appeared with his eyes torn out of their sockets, by the bar|barous mode of GOOGING, a word and practice pe|culiar to the Americans. Humanity forbids us to dwell longer on this scene of horror. The rebels, to break the force of accusation, began to recriminate. They laid several instances of wanton cruelty to the charge of the troops; yet nothing is Page  60 better ascertained, than that not one of the soldiers ever quitted the road, either upon their march or return from Concord.

The Congress stigmatize the expedition to Lex|ington and Concord, with the epithets

"of an un|provoked and wanton assault."
Was the col|lecting warlike implements at Concord, raising men throughout the Province, disciplining troops in every district, forming magazines, purchasing ammunition, and preparing arms, no provocation? Were not the whole Country assembled before they knew of this expedition? And was not their be|ing so completely provided with the means of re|pelling hostilities, a sufficient proof, that they had previously resolved to commence them? Could TEN THOUSAND men, the number that attacked (though at a PRUDENT distance) the troops on their retreat, have been collected by accident, or called together by a sudden alarm? Are not the Congress conscious to themselves, and was not Ge|neral Gage sufficiently apprized, that the people of Massachusets-Bay had determined to begin hos|tilities, had the expedition to Concord never hap|pened? The truth is, the march of the troops had only hastened the execution of the plan of rebellion settled before in the secret Councils of the Provin|cial Congress.

Page  61 The assertions of the Congress concerning transactions within the town of Boston, are as utterly devoid of truth, as their account of what happened in the country. The hostile intentions of those WITHIN, were as apparent as the rebellion of their brethren WITHOUT was certain. The great law of self-defence must therefore have justi|fied General Gage for having deprived the former of arms, which they almost avowedly intended to raise against all legal authority. After the skir|mish at Lexington and Concord, all supplies from the country were cut off from the town of Boston. Many of the inhabitants desired to remove, with their effects. Their request was granted; but it was at the same time demanded, that they should deliver up their arms. This was, at first, ap|proved by all; but great clamours soon after fol|lowed. Such of the inhabitants as were well af|fected, or pretended to be well affected to Go|vernment, alledged, that none but the ill-inclined shewed any inclination to remove; and that when they should become safe with their effects, the town would be set on fire. A great demur having also arisen about the meaning of the word EFFECTS, whether MERCHANDISE was included; and the General being likewise sensible, that the per|mitting articles of that kind to be carried to the rebels, might strengthen them in their resistance; Page  62 he retained the goods. But they are still safely kept for the owners, should they either continue faithful, or seize his Majesty's mercy, and return to their duty.

The next paragraph of the Declaration, as it is not supported by truth, is addressed to the pas|sions. The Congress complain, with an attempt at the pathos,

"of the separation of wives from their husbands, children from their parents, and the aged and sick from their relations and friends."
But is it not notorious to the whole world, that this SEPARATION, which the Con|gress affect to lament, was the necessary conse|quence of the rebellion of their countrymen? Did they not surround the town of Boston, with an armed force, with the avowed intention of destroy|ing his Majesty's forces, Generals, and Governor? And were the gates to be left open
"to let ruin enter,"
as one of their own writers ex|presses himself? Have the people of Boston suf|fered more hardships than the inhabitants of be|sieged towns usually suffer? Have they not even suffered sewer restraints than men in their situation had reason to expect? Was not Dr. Warren, the Chairman of the Provincial Congress, a notorious abettor of the insurrection, a nominal General in a rebel army, permitted to come into Boston, under Page  63 pretence of visiting a sick friend, on the day pre|ceding the action on Bunker's-hill, where he was killed in arms against his King and Country? Is this a mark of those cruel restraints, those melancholy separations, of which the Congress complain? But THEIR business is to engage the passions, where they can make no impression with their arguments.

In the next paragraph of their Declaration, the Congress, with their usual want of impartiality and fairness, mention the CONSEQUENCES of their own rebellion, as the cause of their taking up arms. They observe, that General Gage issued a Proclamation,

"declaring all the inhabitants of Massachusets-Bay rebels, suspending the course of the Common Law, and publishing instead thereof the use and exercise of the Law Martial."
But, did he declare them rebels till they had at|tacked his Majesty's troops, seized his forts and garrisons, besieged his army in the capital of the Province, and not only interrupted the common course of justice, but even totally annihilated all legal authority? It is with peculiar effrontery, that the Congress number the suspension of the common course of justice among their grievances, after all law and order had been trodden under foot by their own countrymen.

Page  64 With the same degree of arrogant folly the Congress complain, that

"their countrymen were killed on Bunker's-hill, that Charles-town was burnt to the ground, that their ships and vessels have been seized, that their supplies of provi|sions have been intercepted, that General Carle|ton is instigating the Canadians and Indians against them, and that domestic enemies are en|couraged to attack them."
All these things may certainly have happened; but have they not happened in consequence of their own rebellion? Have they a right to attack others, and have others no right to defend themselves? Do the in|habitants of Massachusets-Bay think, that as they have broken through all the ties that bind the subject to the Sovereign, the law of nature and of nations ought also to be suspended to gratify their ambition, to flatter their folly, to favour their extravagant schemes of independence? To the above imaginary catalogue of American grievances, may be opposed the just complaints of Great-Britain. Have not the rebels carried their hostilities to every corner against the Parent-State, that first gave them existence, and reared them to prosperity? Have they not attacked her troops at Lexington and at Concord, fired upon Boston, burnt the Light-house, taken Ticonderago and Crown Point, and even penetrated into Canada? Page  65 And have they not used every artifice to instigate the Savages to make war on their Sovereign and Mother-Country? Almost all these injuries pre|ceded the just exertions of this Kingdom to punish their rebellion.

The conclusion of the Declaration, though la|boured, contains nothing but empty declamation, and therefore merits little notice. The same dis|regard to truth, or rather the same attention to misrepresentation, which distinguishes the rest of that strange composition, is carried down to the end. They alledge,

"that they are reduced to the al|ternative of chusing an UNCONDITIONAL sub|mission to tyranny, or resistance by force."
The Congress surely forget, or it suits THEIR purpose to pass over in silence, the favourable (perhaps too favourable) conditions offered to them, by the Re|solution of the Commons, in the month of Fe|bruary last. The terms couched in that Resolu|tion were so obviously advantageous to America, that the Opposition in Parliament declared them INSIDIOUS; or, in other words,
"too good to be sincere."
An amicable settlement had ceased to have been an object with the Demagogues ABROAD; and it would have ruined the schemes of the Faction at HOME. The FORMER derived their influence, consequence, and power, from Page  66 anarchy and confusion. THEY could exist only in a storm. The restoration of peace and tran|quility must have reduced THEM to their original insignificance; and as for the LATTER, rendered desperate by disappointed ambition, they would not hesitate to ruin their Country, to procure the fall of their rivals.

Such being the state of opinions among the leaders of Faction on both sides of the Atlantic,

"resistance by force became naturally the choice of the Congress."
To deceive an unhappy peo|ple, over whose minds they had established a tempo|rary dominion, they boast of
"their perfect union, and their great INTERNAL resources; and that foreign assistance is attainable."
As to the first, we have no reason to give it implicit credit. The shew of unanimity, which now subsists in America, appears, from undoubted information, to be the effect of fear, more than any love for the despe|rate cause of the rebels. Men of property are, from interest, enemies to confusion; and the in|telligent, foreseeing the inevitable issue of hostilities against the invincible power of a mighty Empire, are averse to a contest, that, on the side of the Americans, must terminate in ruin. But BOTH are terrified into silence by the tyranny of a misled rabble; or their STILL VOICE is drowned in the clamours of Faction and tumult of Party.

Page  67 The INTERNAL RESOURCES of the Americans are as problematical, as their unanimity in rebel|lion. Consist these mighty resources in a wretched Paper-currency, established on no ostensible fund of credit; and voted by an illegal Assembly, whose authority is feeble, on account of its novelty, and transitory, as it arises from temporary prejudices? Should force, or even folly, stamp a domestic value on the paste-board dollars of the Congress, what foreign nation will receive them for its manu|factures and commodities? Are the Americans themselves capable of furnishing all the great implements necessary for the prosecution of war? Can they supply their armies with tents, with powder, with cannon, or with musquets? Is any one of these articles manufactured in a sufficient quantity in America? And how can they be procured in Europe, with the wretched cur|rency of the General Congress?

The Colonists, had not reason been warped by prejudice in every part of their conduct, might have foreseen, that their commencing a war de|prived them instantly of the resources for carrying it on. Their whole Coast is lined, it is to be hoped, at this very moment, with our ships of war, to put a total stop to their Commerce. They have, therefore, lost at one stroke their whole Page  68 trade in Corn and Rice with Spain, Portugal, and the Mediterranean; which, at a moderate computation, brought annually One Million Five Hundred Thousand Pounds to North America. They have lost the supplying our own West-India Islands, as well as those of other nations, with provisions; a branch of Commerce estimated little short of a Million annually. They have lost their Fishery, an article too great for computation; and they have lost the exportation to Great-Britain of commodities which would not have answered in any other market, had the sea remained open to their Navigation.

But if the Americans have little reason to de|pend on DOMESTIC RESOURCES, they have still less to hope from FOREIGN AID. Will France, in the present state of her finances, involve herself in a ruinous and expensive war, to gratify the re|venge of a Faction in this Country, or to favour the ambition of Demagogues beyond the Atlantic? Will Spain give her assistance to raise an INDEPEN|DENT EMPIRE in America? Will she encourage her own American subjects to rise against her au|thority, by abetting the rebellion of the American subjects of Great-Britain? Can either Branch of the House of Bourbon be so blind to its own in|terest, as to wish to see a Sovereign State erected Page  69 so near its settlements, which from their proximity, their produce, and their wealth, must, in such a case, become objects of invasion, depredation, and conquest? What has either France or Spain to fear from THIS KINGDOM, whose interest consists solely in preserving what she has already acquired? But have not BOTH every thing to fear, should a new Sovereignty start up in America, in which a want of resources would, in some degree, justify the providing itself at the expence of wealthy neighbours?

Having endeavoured to terrify Great-Britain with their DOMESTIC resources and FOREIGN aids; the Congress thinking, perhaps, they had gone too far, conclude with assurances, that

"they have not YET determined to dissolve their union with the Mother-Country."
But that UNION, it ap|pears from the sequel, must not be construed into SUBORDINATION, on the part of the Americans. The general supremacy of the Legislature, which by pervading the whole British Empire renders it ONE State, must not, it seems, cross the At|lantic, but in such proportions as may suit the in|clinations of the Congress.
"THEY have taken up arms,"
as they openly avow,
"against that Supremacy;"
"THEY will not lay them down till hostilities shall cease on the part of Great-Britain."
This is the Ultimatum offered by the Page  70 Congress: Withdraw your armies, recal your fleets, and you may have peace from the Ameri|cans; for, as
"they fight not for conquest,"
they do not YET mean to transfer hostilities into the heart of these kingdoms!

The haughty Monarch who dreamt of universal monarchy in the last century, could scarcely have expressed himself in more insolent terms to the petty Princes surrounding his dominions, than the Congress have done to the powerful Empire to which they owe the allegiance of subjects. Some allowance ought to be made for THEIR ignorance, and a great deal for the petulance of men new to consequence and authority; but, even in that case, the insolence of the Declaration is calculated to raise indignation, as well as contempt. The Congress, however, are only the echoes of a des|perate Faction in this Kingdom, who have uni|formly, in their public exhibitions, degraded the strength, power, and authority of Great-Britain, to exalt America on the ruins. With an effron|tery without example in any other age or nation, THESE MEN assume the name of Patriots, yet lay the honour, dignity, and reputation of their Country under the feet of her rebellious subjects. With a peculiar refinement on Parricide, they bind the hands of the MOTHER, while they plant a Page  71 dagger in those of the DAUGHTER, to stab her to the heart; and to finish the horrid picture, they smile at the mischief they have done, and look round to the spectators for applause.

It appears, upon the whole, that the Declara|tion, which ought to contain all the argument in favour of the Americans, contains, in fact, no|thing that does not militate against their cause. The right of taxing all the subjects of the Em|pire, for the general support of the State, is a part of that Supremacy which the first principles of the Constitution have vested in the British Legisla|ture. This Supremacy has been exerted by Par|liament, and admitted by the Americans, ever since their ancestors migrated from these kingdoms. If they now deny it, by that very act they cease to be subjects, and become rebels. But granting, for the sake of argument, that Taxation is no part of the supremacy of Parliament, the very conduct of the Americans not only justifies, but even renders it absolutely necessary, that a precedent should be made. They own,

"that their internal resources are great."
The inability of con|tributing to the necessities of a State, from whom they have derived their origin, their support, their protection, and their prosperity, is no longer a pretence; and if they will give no Revenue as Page  72 subjects, they owe a debt as allies. They affect to maintain armies by land. They threaten to send fleets to sea. They alledge, that their resources are capable of supporting a rebellion against the Mo|ther-Country; yet they justify that rebellion by the demand made by the Mother-Country, for their bearing a part of their own FUTURE EXPENCES.

That the FORMER expences of America have drawn from Great-Britain an incredible treasure, may be seen from the following authentic estimate. We shall begin this estimate with the accession of the House of Hanover to the Throne of these Kingdoms.

  £. s. d.
From the year 1714 to the year 1775, the money voted by Parliament, for the forces employed in defence of the Co|lonies, amounts to 8,779,925 3 11½
Grants in Parliament, for rewards, encou|ragement, and indemnification to the Americans, during the last war 1,081,771 11
Bounties on American commodities to the end of 1774 1,609,345 3
Sums granted to the Colonies, for the support of their Civil Government and Provincial Forces 3,835,900 7
Extraordinary expences for forts, garri|sons, ordnance stores, transports, car|riages, provisions, may be estimated equal to the expences of the forces 8,779,925 3 11½
Expences of fleets and naval stations employed and established in America for its defence may be estimated at 10,000,000 00 00
Annual presents to the American Indians, for abstaining from hostilities against the Colonies, and for the cession of lands, 610,000 00 00
  34,697,142 10 10 ½

Page  73 To this amazing sum might be added, by implication, the other expences of the two last Wars. The FORMER of those wars was undertaken for the protection of the American Commerce, or rather American SMUGGLING, to the Spanish Co|lonies. We entered into the LATTER for the defence of the Colonists; we carried it on for their security; and terminated it for their SOLE advan|tage. The two last Wars have cost this Country, at a moderate computation, ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILLIONS. To this extraordinary waste of treasure, what have the Colonies to oppose to balance the account? Is it a languid Com|merce, which scarcely makes its returns once in three years?

We have heard much (indeed, a great deal too much) of this Commerce from factious men on both sides of the Atlantic. This is the mighty engine which they wield over the heads of the ignorant; the great bug-bear with which they terrify the timid. To estimate the value of the American trade with any degree of precision, is impossible. The accounts kept in the Custom|house are no authorities. When exports pay no duty, a door is opened to false entries. The Page  74 vanity of some Merchants, the interest of others, too frequently induce them to magnify, beyond measure, the quantity of their export trade. Be|sides, the mercantile abettors of American resist|ance thought they served the Colonies, whilst they gratified their own private views. We may con|clude, that the Commerce with North America has been greatly over-rated, as the TOTAL LOSS of it has NOT affected this Kingdom. We ought, per|haps, to ascribe to ITS INSIGNIFICANCE what we are taught to attribute to an INCREASE in other channels of trade.

Like all monopolies, the Commerce with North-America, such as it has been, was much more pro|fitable to the Merchant, than advantageous to the Manufacturer. One-third of this commerce with any State in Europe (from which the returns are an|nual) would have brought equal profit to the ma|nufacturer, and would have enabled him to em|ploy an equal number of hands. Political im|postors will not fail to advance magnificent fictions on this head, and the ignorant cannot cease to give them credit. On a subject where proofs are so diffi|cult to be obtained, one may hazard a conjecture. The money expended by this Nation upon America, Page  75 for the PROTECTION of HER inhabitants and the ENCOURAGEMENT of HER Commerce, would have been more than sufficient to purchase ALL the manufactures ever exported from Great-Britain to the Colonies now in rebellion. I mean not to include, in this conjectural estimate, any sums ex|pended by us in any OTHER part of the world during the two last (truly American) Wars.

The Americans, with a degree of folly scarce excuseable in the most consummate ignorance, claim a merit with Great-Britain, for the Revenue arising from imposts laid upon some of their com|modities, in THIS Kingdom. The chief of these are Rice and Tobacco. The Revenue arising from Rice is so insignificant, that it scarce deserves to be mentioned. If exported to the south of Cape Finisterre, Rice pays no duty at all. The con|sumption here and the re-exportation to the North|ward are very inconsiderable. In like manner, Tobacco, when re-exported, pays no duty; and it is a matter of great doubt, whether the frauds committed in the draw-backs may not nearly bal|lance the ostensible Revenue arising to the State from the home consumption.

Page  76 But granting, a great Revenue should arise from Rice and Tobacco to the State, what favour do we owe to our Colonies on that head? That Re|venue is paid by OURSELVES. The Tax is on the Consumer, and not upon the Planter. Should Siberia supply us with Rice and Tobacco, the price would not probably be greater to the Con|sumer, nor the Revenue less to the State. If the Americans claim any merit from those Taxes, what do we NOT owe to the Emperor of China? The Revenue from Tea is much more consider|able than that from Rice and Tobacco. A Con|gress at Pekin might accuse us of ingratitude on this subject, with as much justice as the Assembly lately sitting at Philadelphia.

It is evident, from the above state of facts, that the Colonies have no claim to an exemption from Taxation, on account of any advantage that has accrued to this country from their commerce. But Taxation has now ceased to be any part of the dispute. It goes to the whole authority of the Mother-Country. The Americans offer no longer the very name of Obedience. But why should I speak of Obedience? This VERY CONGRESS, whose Declara|tion is the subject of this disquisition, have passed Page  77 a VOTE OF INDEPENDENCE. They have long acted as rebels, they NOW affect to contend as enemies. Their abettors in this Kingdom are no strangers to this circumstance; yet they dignify avowed re|bellion with the title of


Such is the conduct of the Americans, to which that of Great-Britain has all along formed a strik|ing contrast. With the indulgence and patience of a Parent, she soothed, flattered, and even court|ed them to a reconciliation. In pity to the weakness, in condescension to the folly, in considera|tion to the prejudices of a froward child, she held out the olive branch when she ought, perhaps, to have stretched forth the rod of correction. Her pity, her kindness, and affection, were lost upon the Ameri|cans. They advanced rapidly from claim to claim, and construed her forbearance into timidity. Each Act that was repealed furnished a subject for tri|umph, and not an object for gratitude. Each con|cession became the foundation of some new de|mand, till, at length, by assuming all to them|selves by rebellion, they left the Mother-Country nothing to bestow.

Page  78 In this situation of affairs, Great-Britain must pursue one of two lines of conduct, with regard to her refractory Colonies. She must either put up with the loss of ALL her expence, and emancipate them for ever, or reduce them to that state of dependence which subjects owe to the supreme au|thority in every Empire. As the latter line must of necessity be pursued, it ought to be pursued with a mixture of spirit and prudence. To be in every respect in a condition to force equitable terms, is the best security for their being vo|luntarily offered. But should terms be offered by the rebels, the RIGHTS of THIS COUNTRY must be more regarded in the accommodation, than the CLAIMS of AMERICA. To permit the Colonies to GAIN by one rebellion, is to sow the seeds of another. But if the Colonies, as communities, are not permitted to gain by their refractory conduct, I am far from wishing that individuals should lose any part of their rights as British subjects.

To propose a plan to the Americans, in their pre|sent political frenzy, would be to speak to the winds. To make them less free than the other subjects of the State, can never be the design of this Country. To obtain greater privileges, can Page  79 scarcely be their own design. If they are not madly bent on independence, let them propose the conditions on which they wish to continue subjects. But if they are to continue subjects, they must perform their duty as such, and con|tribute toward the expence of the State, for the general protection. The Legislature of this King|dom cannot possibly depart from any part of its su|premacy over the Colonies; but it is in the power of the Colonies to share in that supremacy. If they complain of being taxed without having the pri|vilege of sending Members to Parliament, let them be represented. Nay, more: Let their representation increase in proportion to the Revenue they shall furnish. If they wish rather to vote their QUOTA towards the general supply, through their own General Courts and Assemblies, the resolution of Parliament on that subject is still open to their choice.

But as long as they assume the language of a Sovereign State, this Kingdom can enter into no negociation, can meet no compromise. Nations, as well as individuals, have a character, a certain dignity, which they must preserve at the risque of their existence. Great-Britain has obeyed the Page  80 dictates of humanity beyond the limits prescribed by her reputation. To tempt her further, is full of peril, as her indignation begins to rise. She has long had reason to complain of American in|gratitude; and she will not bear longer with American injustice. The dangerous resentment of a great people is ready to burst forth. They already begin to ask, with vehemence, Is this the return we ought to expect from Colonies, whom with parental indulgence we have cherished in infancy, protected in youth, and reared to man|hood? Have we spent in their cause so much treasure, and have they the ingratitude to refuse to bear a small portion of our burdens? Have we spilt so much of the blood of their enemies, and do they repay us by imbruing their hands in our own? The law of God and of Nature is on the side of an indulgent Parent, against an undu|tiful Child; and should necessary correction render him incapable of future offence, he has only his own obstinacy and folly to blame.

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