Said to be Written by Lord GEORGE GERMAINE.

LONDON Printed: PHILADELPHIA Re-Printed, and Sold by R. BELL, in Third-Street. M DCC LXXVI.



IF it was possible for men who exercise their reason to believe, that the Divine Author of our existence in­tended a part of the human race to hold an absolute pro­perty in, and an unbounded power over others, marked out by his infinite goodness and wisdom as the objects of a legal domination, never rightfully resistible, however severe and oppressive; the inhabitants of these Colonies might at least require from the Parliament of Great Bri­tain some evidence, that this dreadful authority over them has been granted to that body. But a reverence for our Great Creator, principles of humanity, and the dictates of common sense, must convince all those who reflect upon the subject, that Government was institut­ed to promote the welfare of mankind, and ought to be administered for the attainment of that end. The Legi­slature [Page 6] of Great Britain, however, stimulated by an in­ordinate passion for a power not only unjustifiable, but which they know to be peculiarly reprobated by the very constitution of that Kingdom, and desperate of suc­cess in any mode of contest, where regard should be had to truth, law, or right, have at length, deserting those, attempted to effect their cruel and impolitic purpose of enslaving these Colonies by violence, and have thereby rendered it necessary for us to close with their last ap­peal from reason to arms.—Yet, however blinded that Assembly may be, by their intemperate rage for unlimit­ed domination, so to slight justice and the opinion of mankind, we esteem ourselves bound by obligations of respect to the rest of the world, to make known the justice of our cause.

Our forefathers, inhabitants of the island of Great Britain, left their native land, to seek on these shores a residence for civil and religious freedom. At the ex­pence of their blood, at the hazard of their fortunes, without the least charge to the country from which they removed, by unceasing labour, and an unconquerable spirit, they effected settlements in the distant and inhos­pitable wilds of America, then filled with numerous and warlike nations of barbarians. Societies or go­vernments, vested with perfect legislatures, were formed under Charters from the Crown, and an harmonious in­tercourse was established between the Colonies and the Kingdom from which they derived their origin. The mutual benefits of this union became in a short time so extraordinary, as to excite astonishment. It is uni­versally confessed, that the amazing increase of the wealth, strength, and navigation of the realm arose from this source; and the Minister who so wisely and successfully directed the measures of Great Bri­tain in the late war, publickly declared, that these Colonies enabled her to triumph over her enemies.—Towards the conclusion of that war it pleased our Sovereign to make a change in his Councils.—From that fatal moment the affairs of the British Empire be­gan to fall into confusion, and gradually sliding from the summit of glorious prosperity, to which they had been advanced by the virtues and abilities of one man, [Page 7] are at length distracted by the convulsions that now shake it to its deepest foundation. The new Ministry finding the brave foes of Britain, though frequently defeated, yet still contending, took up the unfortunate idea of granting them a hasty peace, and of then subduing her faithful friends.

These devoted Colonies were judged to be in such a state, as to present victories without bloodshed, and all the easy emoluments of statutable plunder. The un­interrupted tenor of their peaceable and respectful be­haviour from the beginning of Colonization, their du­tiful, zealous, and useful services during the war, tho' so recently and amply acknowledged in the most ho­nourable manner by his Majesty, by the late King, and by Parliament, could not save them from the medi­tated innovations. Parliament was influenced to adopt the pernicious project, and assuming a new power over them, have, in the course of eleven years, given such decisive specimens of the spirit and consequences attend­ing this power, as to leave no doubt concerning the ef­fects of acquiescence under it. They have undertaken to give and grant our money without our consent, tho' we have ever exercised an exclusive right to dispose of our own property. Statutes have been passed for extend­ing the jurisdiction of Courts of Admiralty and Vice-Admiralty beyond their antient limits, for depriving us of the accustomed and inestimable privilege of trial by Jury in cases affecting both life and property; for sus­pending the legislature of one of the Colonies; for in­terdicting all commerce of another; and for altering fundamentally the form of government, established by charter, and secured by Acts of its own Legislature so­lemnly confirmed by the Crown; for exempting the "Murderers" of Colonists from legal trial, and, in effect, from punishment; for erecting in a neighbour­ing Province, acquired by the joint arms of Great Bri­tain and America, a despotism dangerous to our very ex­istence; and for quartering soldiers upon the Colonists in time of profound peace. It has also been resolved in Parliament, that Colonists charged with committing certain offences, shall be transported to England to be tried.

[Page 8] But why should we enumerate our injuries in detail? By one Statute it is declared, that Parliament can "of right, make laws to bind us in all cases whatsoever." What is to defend us against so enormous, so unlimit­ed a power? Not a single man of those who assume it is chosen by us, or is subject to our controul or in­fluence; but, on the contrary, they are all of them ex­empt from the operation of such laws; and an American revenue, if not diverted from the ostensible purposes for which it is raised, would actually lighten their own burdens in proportion as they increase ours. We saw the misery to which such despotism would reduce us. We for ten years incessantly and ineffectually besieged the Throne as supplicants; we reasoned, we remonstrated with Parliament in the most mild and decent language. But Administration, sensible that we should regard those oppressive measures as freemen ought to do, sent over fleets and armies to enforce them. The indignation of the Americans was routed, it is true; but it was the in­dignation of a virtuous, loyal, and affectionate people. A Congress of Delegates from the United Colonies was assembled at Philadelphia, on the 5th day of last Septem­ber. We resolved again to offer an humble and duti­ful Petition to the King, and also addressed our fel­low-subjects of Great Britain. We have pursued every temperate, every respectful measure; we have even pro­ceeded to break off our commercial intercouse with our fellow-subjects, as the last peaceable admonition, that our attachment to no nation upon earth should sup­plant our attachment to liberty. This we flattered our­selves was the ultimate step of the controversy; but the subsequent events have shewn, how vain is this hope of finding moderation in our enemies.

Several threatening expressions against the Colonies were inserted in his Majesty's Speech. Our Petition, though we were told it was a decent one, that his Ma­jesty had been pleased to receive it graciously, and to promise laying it before his Parliament, was huddled in­to both Houses amongst a bundle of American papers, and there neglected. The Lords and Commons in their Address, in the month of February, said, That "a re­bellion at that time actually existed within the Province [Page 9] of Massachuset's Bay; and that those concerned in it had been countenanced and encouraged by unlawful combi­nations and engagements, entered into by his Majesty's subjects in several of the other Colonies; and therefore they besought his Majesty, that he would take the most effectual measures to enforce due obedience to the laws and authority of the Supreme Legislature." Soon after the commercial intercourse of whole Colonies, with fo­reign countries, and with each other, was cut off by an Act of Parliament; by another, several of them were entirely prohibited from the fisheries in the seas near their coasts, on which they always depended for their sustenance; and large reinforcements of ships and troops were imme­diately sent over to General Gage.

Fruitless were all the entreaties, arguments, and elo­quence of an illustrious band of the most distinguished Peers and Commoners, who nobly and strenuously asserted the justice of our cause, to stay or even to mitigate the heedless fury with which these accumulated and unexam­pled outrages were hurried on. Equally fruitless was the interference of the City of London, of Bristol, and many other respectable towns, in our favour. Parliament adopted an insidious manoeuvre, calculated to divide us, to establish a perpetual auction of taxations, where Colony should bid against Colony, all of them uninformed what ransom should redeem their lives, and thus to extort from us, 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 to us of raising in our own mode the prescribed tribute. What terms more rigid and humiliating could have been dictated by remorseless victors to conquered enemies? In our circumstances, to accept them would be to deserve them.

Soon after the intelligence of these proceedings arrived on this Continent, General Gage, who in the course of the last year had taken possession of the town of Boston, in the province of Massachuset's-Bay, and still occupied it as a garrison, on the 19th day of April sent out from that place a large detachment of his army, who made an unprovoked assault on the inhabitants of the said province, [Page 10] at the town of Lexington, as appears by the affidavits of a great number of persons, some of whom were officers and soldiers of that detachment, murdered eight of the inhabitants, and wounded many others. From thence the troops proceeded in warlike array to the town of Concord, where they set upon another party of the in­habitants of the same Province, killing several, and wounded more, until compelled to retreat by the coun­try people suddenly assembled to repel this cruel aggres­sion. Hostilities thus commenced by the British troops, have been since prosecuted by them without regard to faith or reputation. The inhabitants of Boston being confined within that town by the General their Gover­nor, and having in order to procure their dismission en­tered into a treaty with him, it was stipulated that the said inhabitants, having deposited their arms with their own Magistrates, should have liberty to depart, taking with them their other effects. They accordingly deli­vered up their arms; but in open violation of honour, in defiance of the obligation of treaties, which even sa­vage nations esteem sacred, the Governor ordered the arms deposited as aforesaid, that they might be preserved for their owners, to be seized by a body of soldiers; de­tained the greatest part of the inhabitants in the town, and compelled the few who were permitted to retire, to leave their most valuable effects behind.

By this perfidy wives are separated from their husbands, children from their parents, the aged and sick from their relations and friends, who wish to attend and comfort them; and those who have been used to live in plenty, and even elegance, are reduced to deplorable distress.

The General, further emulating his Ministerial ma­sters, by a proclamation, bearing date on the 12th day of June, after venting the grossest falsehoods and calum­nies against the good people of these Colonies, proceeds to "declare them all,. either by name or description, to be rebels and traitors; to supersede the course of the common law, and instead thereof, to publish and order the use and exercise of the law martial."—His troops have butchered our countrymen; have wantonly burnt Charles-Town, besides a considerable number of houses [Page 11] in other places; our ships and vessels are seized; the ne­cessary supplies of provisions are intercepted, and he is ex­erting his utmost power to spread destruction and devasta­tion around him.

We have received certain intelligence, that General Carleton, the Governor of Canada, is instigating the people of that Province and the Indians to fall upon us; and we have but too much reason to apprehend, that schemes have been formed to excite domestic enemies against us. In brief, a part of these Colonies now feels, and all of them are sure of feeling, as far as the vengeance of Administration can inflict them, the complicated cala­mities of fire, sword and famine. We are reduced to the alternative of chusing an unconditional submission to the tyranny of irritated Ministers, or resistance by force. The latter is our choice. We have counted the cost of this contest, and find nothing so dreadful as voluntary slavery. Honour, justice and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infa­my and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them, if we basely entail hereditary bondage upon them.

Our cause is just: our union is perfect: our internal resources are great; and if necessary, foreign assistance is undoubtedly attainable. We gratefully acknowledge, as signal instances of Divine favour towards us, that his Pro­vidence would not permit us to be called into this severe controversy, until we were grown up to our present strength, had been previously exercised in warlike opera­tions, and possessed of the means of defending ourselves. With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly before God and the world declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have been compelled by our enemies to as­sume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with un­abating firmness and perseverance, employ for the pre­servation of our liberties, being with one mind resolved to die freemen rather than to live slaves.

[Page 12] Lest this Declaration should disquiet the minds of our friends and fellow-subjects in any part of the empire, we assure them, that we mean not to dissolve that union which has so long and so happily subsisted between us, and which we sincerely wish to see restored. Necessity has not yet driven us into that desperate measure, or in­duced us to excite any other nation to war against them. We have not raised armies with ambitious designs of separating from Great Britain, and establishing indepen­dant states. We fight not for glory or for conquest. We exhibit to mankind the remarkable spectacle of a people attacked by unprovoked enemies, without any imputation, or even suspicion of offence. They boast of their privileges and civilization, and yet proffer no milder conditions than servitude or death.

In our own native land, in defence of the freedom that is our birthright, and which we ever enjoyed till the late violation of it; for the protection of our pro­perty, acquired solely by the honest industry of our fore­fathers and ourselves, against violence actually offered, we have taken up arms. We shall lay them down when hostilities shall cease on the part of the aggressors, and all danger of their being renewed shall be removed,—and not before.

With an humble confidence in the mercies of the Su­preme and Impartial Judge and Ruler of the Universe, we most devoutly implore his Divine Goodness to conduct us happily through this great conflict, to dispose our adver­saries to reconciliation on reasonable terms, and thereby to relieve the Empire from the calamities of civil war.

By Order of CONGRESS,
. Attested,


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 injustice of their Opponents. But if Nations, ac­countable to none for their conduct, deem it ne­cessary 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 man­kind are invariably opposed to such men. Their assertions are heard with distrust, their arguments weighed with caution; and, therefore, it is as ne­cessary 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 ap­pear to others, seems to have totally escaped the [Page 14] attention of the body of men who lately sat at Philadelphia under the name of "The General American Congress." In a paper published un­der the title of ‘A DECLARATION by the Re­presentatives of the United Colonies of North America’ * the facts are either wilfully or igno­rantly misrepresented; and the arguments deduced from premises that have no foundation in truth. But, as whatever falls from men who call them­selves 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, ar­guments 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 prin­ciples 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 [Page 15] the degrees of freedom in various Governments, consists merely in the manner of placing this ne­cessary discretionary power. In the British Em­pire it is vested, where it is most safe, in King, Lords, and Commons, under the collective ap­pellation 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 Legis­lature, 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 prero­gative, and not his subjects in his legislative qua­lity; 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 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 Ame­ricans, That ‘the Supreme Power cannot take from any one any part of his property without his consent;’ or in other words, That Represen­tation is inseparable from Taxation. The Colo­nists, say they, have no Representatives in Parlia­ment, 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 re­presented. [Page 16] Out of more than seven millions, fewer than three hundred thousand have an exclusive right to chuse Members of Parliament; and, there­fore, more than three times the number of the Americans have an equal right with them to dis­pute 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 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 en­force the raising the supplies they vote. That pri­vilege is inherent in the supreme and unac­countable power vested in the three branches of the Legislature united; who are in fact the State, as the virtual Representatives of the whole Em­pire, and not the delegates of individuals.

Why it has been so generally received as a maxim, in this country, That Taxation and Re­presentation are inseparable, requires to be ex­plained. Men, little acquainted with the Consti­tution, derived the opinion from their finding, that it is the indisputable right of the Com­mons, that all grants of subsidies and parlia­mentary 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 [Page 17] 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 con­clusive, if the Commons taxed none but those by whose suffrages they obtained their seats in Parlia­ment. 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 members who fit 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 discretionary power, which is reposed in them, in conjunction with the two other bran­ches of the Legislature. It appears, upon the whole, that Taxation is the result of that dis­cretionary authority placed in the hands of the Legislature, and exerted 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 Taxa­tion. The Earl of Chester and the Bishop of Durham became, by prescription and im­memorial custom, possessed of a kind of regal jurisdiction, within their respective territories. A similar form of Government was established by King Edward III. in the County of Lancaster; [Page 18] 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 Gaunt, that King's fourth son, and his posterity. But though the SUBORDI­NATE 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 SUBJECTS (if the expression may be used) were ‘always bound by the Acts and Sta­tutes’ (a) of an Assembly, in which they had no Representatives. They were also "liable to all payments, rates, and subsidies, granted by the Parliament of England(b)."

Those Counties (it must be confessed), like the Americans, considered their being excluded from having Representatives in an Assembly by which they were taxed, a grievance. Accordingly, the Town and County of Chester, as far back as the thirty-fifth of Henry VIII. petitioned the Legisla­ture for the privilege of sending Members to Par­liament; and their request was granted by an ex­press Statute(c). The county and City of Durham made a similar application, and with the same suc­cess, in the twenty-fifth of Charles II.(d) Had the Americans, instead of flying to arms, submitted [Page 19] 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 Bur­gesses to represent them in the High Court of Parliament, they had been oftentimes TOUCHED and GRIEVED with acts and statutes made with­in the said Court, derogatory to their most an­cient jurisdictions, liberties and privileges, and pre­judicial to their quietness, rest and peace;" this Country would, I am persuaded, have no objection to their being represented in her Parliament.

But the Colonies, though that circumstance is only insinuated in the Declaration, have uniformly affirmed, that granting the supremacy of Parlia­ment should extend over the whole Empire, yet that they themselves have a right to an exemption from Taxes either by the concessions of the Legis­lature, or by charters from the King. It seems incompatible with reason, say they, that the Co­lonies should have internal Legislatures of their own, possessing the authority of taxation, and that, notwithstanding, the British Parliament should re­tain 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 Colonies 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 [Page 20] 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 THE THREE unit­ed; a solecism as great in polity, as it is in mathe­matics to affirm, that a part is greater than the whole.

It may be necessary, perhaps, to make an apo­logy 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 themseves 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 au­thority of the State should load the Legislature with opprobrious epithets. The Congress accord­ingly [Page 21] stigmatize Parliament with various charges of tyranny, violence, and oppression. Passing from this strain of general scurrility, they enter into warm encomiums on the ancestors of their Consti­tuents. 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 trans­mitted 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 ex­pended upon the various Provinces, since their first establishment, for their ordinary support, go­vernment, and protection, have been so enor­mous, that without the authority of incon­testible vouchers, they could scarcely obtain credit*.

[Page 22] But, even granting that the Colonists had ob­tained 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 ex­pended upon the fleets and armies employed in defence of the Colonies, advance more than ONE MILLION to pay THEIR own native forces, em­ployed in THEIR own Cause?

Did not the Mother-country, with more than a mother's fondness, upon all occasions nourish, che­rish, [Page 23] 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 [Page 24] protected the Colonies in war, encouraged their produce with bounties in time of peace, entered 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 habitual injuries had raised an irreconcile­able hatred to their oppressors? Did she not, too fatally, relinquish great advantages on every other side of a successful war, to eradicate the very seeds [Page 25] 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 dagger 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 security. Had Canada remained in the hands of the French, the Colonies would have remained dutiful subjects. Their fears for themselves, in that case, would have supplied the place of their pretended affection for this Nation. They would have spoken more spar­ingly of their own resources, as they might daily stand in need of our aid. Their former incapacity of defending themselves would have always recurred to their minds, as long as the objects of their former terror should continue so near their borders. But their habitual 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 carried on the war. With peculiar inconsistency they effect 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. [Page 26] 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 commerce 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 Merchants 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 invincible proof of the public prosperity, the confidence of the people in the measures of Government, 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 [Page 27] of rhetoric, if it has any meaning, conveys one contrary to the truth. The Colonists hav­ing obtained such amazing advantages 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 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 affair 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 appear either improper or burden­some. During the whole of the summer 1764, though some discontented 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 furnished 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 themselves); 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.

[Page 28] 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 Government. In their eagerness to disgrace the Minister, they too frequently ob­struct the service, and defeat the interests of their country. Every side of a speculative point is armed with arguments, that may im­pose on the ignorant, and encourage the san­guine. The opposition in Parliament, in short, committed themselves too far in favour of the prejudices of the Americans, with regard to the Stamp-Act, to support it with vigour, when they themselves, very unexpectedly*, came into Office, a few months after it had passed into Law. Though their view of the object changed 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 concessions. A natural timi­dity of disposition, joined to the common want of firmness which accompanies novelty in office, rendered them inclinable to purchase present quiet for themselves, at the expence of the future advantage of their country. But still they wavered on the point of irresolution, till [Page 29] Mr. Pitt's oratory weighed down the scale. The Stamp-Act was repealed; and from that moment may be dated "the commencement of" what the Americans call ‘an Aera of Public Ruin.’

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 ambitious 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 resulting from their Commerce. This opinion of Mr. Pitt, whether it proceeded from ignorance or design (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, believed 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, [Page 30] whether it is less arbitrary, than to demand an internal tax from the Americans, for the sup­port of their own government, and even for the general support of the State, 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 resignation in 1761. They have also for­got, or they do not chuse to remember, that he acquiesced in the DECLARATORY BILL, brought in and passed by the Marquiss of Rockingham's Party, who were in office, in the beginning of the year 1766. This Bill ex­pressly 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 Imperial 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, subjects of the Crown of Great-Britain, IN ALL CASES WHATSOEVER.’

Mr. Pitt, to preserve some degree of consist­ency, objected to the words "IN ALL CASES WHATSOEVER." 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 his opinion, when it came under debate in the House of Lords.

[Page 31] "The Declaratory Act," as the American Congress affirms, ‘comprehends all the griev­ances of which they complain.’ Yet that very Congress, with peculiar 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 Government, the Americans endeavour to secure their support, by flattering their vanity at the expence 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 fi­figure of the Negro, near Temple-bar, are turn­ed round by the machine, which they pretend 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 very "illustrious Band," encouraged by the nega­tive opposition made by the Earl of Chatham, whose advice the Band followed, as it soon af­ter appeared, to their own political destructi­on. Besides, was it not under the administra­tion of the Earl of Chatham, in the years 1767 [Page 32] and 1768, though the Americans date their mis­fortunes from the resignation of Mr. Pitt in October 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 Congress 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 Americans 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 Congress recur to their usual maxim, That Taxation and Representation are inseparable. Though it has been already shewn, that they are as much represented as twenty-four in twenty-five of the inhabitants of Great-Britain; though it has been proved, 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 [Page 33] hold forth as invincible, and found upon it their present resistance to the supremacy of the Parent-kingdom. In pursuing it injudiciously and too far, they actually discover the expe­diency, and even necessity 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 Nations, that those who desert their country should enjoy greater privi­leges than those that remain? The Americans having been spared during the infancy 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 [Page 34] 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 otherwise by a disappoint­ed faction in this Kingdom, allowed, that the whole fabrick of their polity might be new modelled and reformed by the superintending 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 interposition, in both cases, present themselves, in almost every volume of the Statutes, from the Restoration down to the present reign; yet the Americans falsely insinu­ate, that it was in the present reign the exercise of the authority of Parliament (except only in the regulation of trade) first commenced.

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 jealou­sies, the Americans affect to ascribe the present system of measures to principles of Toryism, [Page 35] which, they pretend, prevail in our Councils. But, unfortunately for this part of their plan of deception, 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 independence 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 upon WHIG principles; and also upon the fullest evidence of the frauds and abuses committed in the Plantations, in viola­tion of the Act of Navigation; 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 Treasury 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 [Page 36] houses and warehouses, as was exercised by the same Officers in England.’

All penalties and forfeitures were made re­coverable 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 committed, 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, 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, [Page 37] 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 accessaries. They might, at discretion, either try the criminals in America, or send them to England 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; 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 Commissioners of Oyer and Terminer and Goal delivery.

[Page 38] 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 whenever the general interest of the whole Empire required 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 cherished by the Co­lonies. The same principles, and the same policy, were carried down by Parliament 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 Ann, for that pur­pose; when the Councils of that Princess were guided by Whigs. By this Act the rates of Foreign Coin, in the Plantations, 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 Plantations were subjected to the same re­strictions.

[Page 39] 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 undeviating adherence to the same prin­ciples. In the year 1702, a Bill was brought into the House of Commons, for abolishing all the Charter and Proprietary Governments in America, and re-uniting 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 Constitution. This proceeding was likewise followed by a Bill for abolishing those Char­ters.

These Bills, it must be confessed, were not carried 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 [Page 40] Colonies, are more numerous and striking: By an Act of the 2d of George II. Chap. 35. severe prohibitions and penalties are imposed and inflicted on such persons as shall cut and destroy white Pines, although such Pines are growing within the limits of a Township al­ready granted; and these penalties are directed to be sued for and recovered in the Courts of Ad­miralty. 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 Plantations; 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 exportation 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 Commons, praying that they might be heard by Counsel on the subject of Grievances. The chief of these was, ‘That the Crown had restrained their Governor, by instructions, in certain cases relative to the issue and dis­posal of Public Money, and the emission of Paper-Bills of Credit.’ The Commons, [Page 41] having considered the matter, came to a Resolution, ‘That the Petition was frivo­lous and groundless, a high insult upon his Majesty's Government, and tending to SHAKE OFF THE DEPENDENCY of the said Colony upon this Kingdom, 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 depending in Parliament;’ it was resolved, ‘That the passing such censure was an AUDACIOUS PROCEEDING, and a high violation of the privileges of the House.’ A Committee was accordingly 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 supremacy 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 [Page 42] examination, they came to various Resolu­tions. They resolved, ‘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 indirect 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, requesting 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 Governors 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 [Page 43] in the emission and circulation of Paper-Money. The New-England Governments, 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 Governors of those Colonies were prohibited, under pain of be­ing removed from their Governments, and forever 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 unsuccessful 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. ‘to restrain and prevent [Page 44] such unwarrantable practices; 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 kingdoms.’ 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 Parliament 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, appren­tices 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 controuling 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 [Page 45] Courts in Westminster-Hall, or in the Court of Exchequer in Scotland.’

The foregoing recital of Statutes binding the Colonies, prior to the present reign, of which the Congress so much complain, is sufficient to convince 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 above mentioned ‘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 and Poundage were NOT col­lected in America. The reason was, that the commerce of the plantations was so in­considerable, [Page 46] 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 Assembly 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, 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.

[Page 47] 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 subjects 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 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 payment of the duties for Greenwich Hospital, ‘by [Page 48] seamen belonging to American ships, whe­ther employed upon the high seas, or in any port, harbour, bay or creek, within ANY of the Colonies.’

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 Declaratory 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 Parliament 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."

The American Congress, with a partia­lity for themselves scarcely consistent with their design of gaining others, in the next paragraph of their Declaration, call the Acts, which were the CONSEQUENCE of the resistance of their constituents, the CAUSE of their rebellion. In descending to particulars, their first complaint is stated against ‘the extension of the Jurisdiction [Page 49] of the Courts of Admiralty 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 alternations of which they complain were made at the request of their constituents. The reasons assigned for this request were, that the Courts of Admiralty established formerly in the various Pro­vinces, possessed so little dignity, on ac­count of the dependance and poverty of the judges, that justice was either sacrificed to connexions, or biassed 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 rendered independent by ample salaries. The line 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 ridiculous as well as unjust, as the [Page 50] 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 effectually from justice. It was a pub­lic crime, and the punishment ought to have been general. In pursuance of that plan of tenderness, which has been fatally lost on the Americans, the Bill for suspending the trade of Boston was rendered conditional. A door was left open for an immediate re­conciliation, should the Assembly of Massa­chusetts 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 coercive statute rendered ab­solutely necessary by 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, [Page 51] 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 alterations 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 inde­pendance, 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 Massachusetts-Bay on the same footing with the other Colonies. They have received in miniature the counter-part of the constitution 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 Popery and Arbitrary Power has been [Page 52] ever a favourite 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 themselves, that His Majesty, without the interposition of the two other branches of the Legislature, 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 already laws of their own, such laws remain in full force, till they are alter­ed and changed by the Sovereign. Had His Majesty, therefore, entertained 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 go­vernment established by the Legislature in Quebec, is so arbitrary in itself, or so fit for the purposes of despotism, as the constitu­tion which subsisted 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 [Page 53] religion, to all which they had an undoubt­ed 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 pathetic 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, 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 APPLIED TO DESPOTISM than those he reprobates at present. The Duke of Grafton, the Earl of Shelburne, General Conway, and several [Page 54] others of "that illustrious Band," on whose virtues the Americans 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 complaints against the British Legislature, the Resolution 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 misprisons of treason committed 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 system of enslavement, with which they charge the King and Parliament, it contains no novelty, no uncommon stretch of law. A thousand instances of the same kind are upon record, long before the present dis­putes with America began. One instance is extremely remarkable; I mean the trans­actions [Page 55] 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 Satute; and that circumstance has established 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; insurrections, and even rebellion of their own countrymen totally interrupted the common course of justice over all the vast Continent which they inhabit; and shall the generality of the crime be admitted a competent excuse against punishment?

From condemning the Acts of the Le­gislature, the Congress pass to complaints against their Sovereign, 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, 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 establishment of [Page 56] 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 magazines, enlist soldiers; and prepare, in every respect, for rebellion and war; when they affected to speak 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 disclaimed their allegiance to the Sovereign; disobeyed 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 of a want of moderation in Government, for ex­erting the power vested in it by the Con­stitution, for restoring tranquility, enforcing legal submission to the laws of the State, and for protecting the injured and punish­ing the guilty.

[Page 57] Throughout the whole of their strange Declaration, 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 endeavoured to procure an accommodation with the Mother-Coun­try; yet they reprobate the resolution of the Commons, on the 20th of February, which opened a fair channel for agreement. They call the resolution, ‘an insidious manoeuvre; calculated to divide the Americans, and to establish 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 the Congress have pro­fited by the speeches of patriotism 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 [Page 58] 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 "insidious 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 Massachusetts Bay: That this con­duct was the more inexcusable, when it was considered with how much temper his Ma­jesty and the two Houses of Parliament had acted, in support of the Laws and Constitu­tion 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 AUTHORITY over 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: [Page 59] That, 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 effec­tual 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, evidently tendered the Olive-branch with the other. The Americans themselves were made the arbiters 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 conciliate 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. Accordingly, on [Page 60] the twentieth of February, the following Propositions were introduced to a Committee 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 provision 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 Parliament; 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 Province, 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 commerce; the nett produce of the duties last mentioned, to be carried to the account of such Province, Colony, or Plantation respectively.’

[Page 61] This Resolution, which was carried by a great majority, plainly marked the ground for a negotiation, and an equitable agree­ment with the Colonies. 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 contri­bution 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 conclusive, 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 reserved by the Legislature was to de­termine the QUANTUM of the supply; and they alone can determine 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 proposal, had what they held forth to the Public formed the real principles of their opposition.

[Page 62] The minority in Parliament, who deem­ed nothing so fatal to their own views, as an agreement with the Americans, upon equitable, and consequently permanent terms, opposed this Proposition as insi­dious in its nature, and for that purpose rendered obscure and perplexed in its lan­guage. The American Demagogues, whose influence 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 exclusive privilege of fixing the amount or quantum 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 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?

[Page 63] The Americans formerly declared them­selves willing to contribute to the exigencies and expences of the State, provided the de­mand should come by requisition from the King, and not by an immediate 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 Sove­reign of a number of petty States, weakened by their own disunion. Had his Majesty been actuated by those motives of ambition, which are not uncommon among Princes, he would have eagerly closed with the offers of the Americans. Instead of mak­ing himself dependent, for the maintenance of his dignity, upon the grants of one Assembly, he might have extricated him­self from even the fear of pecuniary difficul­ties, by a proper management of many Assemblies. The representatives of one Province might be gratified into the views of the Crown, from the revenue of another; British Members might receive the wages of corruption in America; and American Representatives be sent for the price of their votes to this Kingdom.

[Page 64] But succeeding events have demonstrated, that the Americans were not sincere, in any one of their declarations, in favour of an amicable accommodation. The Proposi­tions voted, on the 20th of February, came up to their own former demands; yet they evaded them, by treating them as insidious. The truth is, they knew their own demerits towards 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 publicly avow their resolution to pay no regard to any Parliamentary restrictions, whether ancient or recent, on their Commerce. They now openly trade all over Europe; and the ob­taining the privilege, which they have, at length, usurped, has been the primary cause [Page 65] of their resistance to Parliament. The ma­nufacturers and merchants of this Country have been long no strangers to this Ameri­can policy; yet the Congress have the ef­frontery to expect, 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 Congress, it may be remark­ed, that the rebellious conduct of the town of Boston, where all the authority of legal government had been long extinguished by the tyranny of a rabble instigated by factious leaders, had rendered a force necessary in that place, to restore order and tranquility, to protect the innocent, and to restrain the excesses of the turbulent and guilty. That the military preparations made in all parts of the Province, and especially at the Town of Concord, with the avowed intention of [Page 66] opposing all legal authority, 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 "warlike array," stood in the way of this detachment, with arms in their hands; and that when ordered 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 hostilities. 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 [Page 67] country people, at Lexington. The affida­vits of the 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 soldi­ers who lay wounded on the field, and had been scalped by the savage Provincials, were still breathing. 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 soldier who had been slightly wounded, appeared with his eyes torn out of their sockets, by the barbarous mode of GOOGING, a word and practice peculiar 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 [Page 68] the charge of the troops; yet nothing is 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 Lexington and Concord, with the epithets "of an unprovoked and wanton assault." Was the collecting 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 being so completely provided with the means of repelling 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 General Gage sufficiently apprized, that the people of Massachusetts-Bay had determined to begin hostilities, had the ex­pedition to Concord never happened? 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 Provincial Congress.

[Page 69] 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 justified General Gage for having deprived the for­mer of arms, which they almost avowedly intended to raise against all legal authority. After the skirmish 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, approved by all; but great clamours soon after followed. Such of the inhabitants as were well affected, or pretended to be well affected to Government, 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 permitting articles of that kind to be carried to the rebels, might [Page 70] strengthen them in their resistance; 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 passions. 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 Congress af­fect to lament, was the necessary conse­quence of the rebellion of their countrymen? Did they not surround the town of Boston, with an armed force, with the avowed inten­tion of destroying 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 expresses himself? Have the people of Boston suffered mere hardships than the inhabitants of besieged to was usually suffer? Have they not even suffered fewer 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 pre­tence [Page 71] of visiting a sick friend, on the day preceding 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 attacked 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 72] 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 provisions have been in­tercepted, that General Carleton is insti­gating the Canadians and Indians against them, and that domestic enemies are en­couraged 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 inhabitants 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 [Page 73] into Canada? And have they not used every artifice to instigate the Savages to make war on their Sovereign and Mother-Country? Almost all these injuries preceded the just exertions of this kingdom to punish their rebellion.

The conclusion of the Declaration, though laboured, contains nothing but empty de­clamation, and therefore merits little notice. The same disregard 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 al­ternative of chusing an unconditional sub­mission 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 Resolution of the Commons, in the month of February last. The terms couched in that Resolution 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 anarchy and [Page 74] confusion. THEY could exist only in a storm. The restoration of peace and tran­quility 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 people, over whose minds they had established a temporay 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 desperate cause of the rebels. Men of property are, from interest, enemies to confusion; and the intelligent, 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 75] The INTERNAL RESOURCES of the Amer­icans are as problematical, as their unanimity in rebellion. 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 manufactures 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 muskets? Is any one of these articles manufactured in a sufficient quantity in America? And how can they be procured in Europe, with the wretched currency 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 deprived 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 [Page 76] whole 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 depend 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 revenge of a Faction in this Country, or to favour the ambition of Demagogues beyond the Atlantic? Will Spain give her assistance to raise an INDE­PENDENT EMPIRE in America? Will she encourage her own American subjects to rise against her authority, 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 interest, as to wish to see a Sovereign State erected so [Page 77] 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 interests 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 ap­pears 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 Atlantic, but in such proportions as may suit the inclina­tions of the Congress. ‘THEY have taken up arms,’ as they openly avow, ‘against that Supremacy;’ and ‘THEY will not lay them down till hostilities shall cease on the part of Great-Britain.’ This is the Ultimatum offered by the Congress: With­draw [Page 78] your armies, recal your fleets, and you may have peace from the Americans; 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 now 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 desperate faction in this Kingdom, who have uniformly, in their public exhibitions, degraded the strength, power, and authority of Great-Britain, to exalt America on the ruins. With an effrontery without example in any other age or nation, THESE MEN assume the name of Patriots, yet lay the honor, 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 dagger in those [Page 79] 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 De­claration, which ought to contain all the ar­gument in savour of the Americans, con­tains, in fact, nothing that does not militate against their cause. The right of taxing all the subjects of the Empire, 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 Le­gislature. This Supremacy has been exerted by Parliament, 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 contributing 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 subjects, they owe a debt as allies. They affect to maintain armies by land. [Page 80] They threaten to send fleets to sea. They alledge, that their resources are capable of supporting a rebellion against the Mother-Country; yet they justifiy 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.

[Page 81] 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 Colonies. We entered into the LATTER for the defence of the Colonists; we carried it on for their security; and terminated it for their SOLE advantage. 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 Commerce, 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 vanity of some Merchants, the interest of others, [Page 82] too frequently induce them to magnify, be­yond measure, the quantity of their export trade. Besides, the mercantile abettors of American resistance thought they served the Colonies, whilst they gratified their own private views. We may conclude, that the Commerce with North America has been greatly over-rated, as the TOTAL LOSS of it has NOT affected this Kingdom. We ought, perhaps, 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 profitable to the Merchant, than advantageous to the Manufacturer. One-third of this commerce with any State in Europe (from which the returns are annual) would have brought equal profit to the ma­nufacturer, and would have enabled him to employ an equal number of hands. Politi­cal impostors 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 difficult to be obtained, one may hazard a conjecture. The money expended by this Nation upon America, for the PROTECTION of HER in­habitants and the ENCOURAGEMENT of [Page 83] 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 expended by us in any OTHER part of the world during the two last (truly American) Wars.

The Americans, with a degree of folly scarce excusable in the most consummate ig­norance, claim a merit with Great-Britain, for the Revenue arising from imposts laid upon some of their commodities, 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. It never amounted, at the highest computation, to ten thousand pounds in any one year. 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 balance the ostensible Revenue arising to the Sate from the home consumption.

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 Revenue is paid by OUR­SELVES. The Tax is on the Consumer, [Page 84] and not upon the Planter. Should Siberia supply us with Rice and Tobacco, the price would not probably be greater to the Consu­mer, 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 considerable than that from Rice and Tobacco. A Congress 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 Declaration is the subject of this disquisition, have passed 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 rebellion [Page 85] with the title of "A GLORIOUS STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM.

Such is the conduct of the Americans, to which that of Great-Britain has all along formed a striking contrast. With the in­dulgence and patience of a Parent, she soothed, flattered, and even courted them to a reconciliation. In pity to the weakness, in condescension to the folly, in considera­tion 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 Americans. They advanced rapidly from claim to claim, and construed her forbearance into timidity. Each Act that was repealed, furnished a subject for triumph, and not an object for gratitude. Each concession became the foundation of some new demand, till, at length, by assuming all to themselves by rebellion, they left the Mother-Country nothing to bestow.

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 forever, or reduce them to that state of dependence [Page 86] which subjects owe to the supreme authority 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 voluntarily 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 present 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 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 contribute towards the expence of [Page 87] the State, for the general protection. The Legislature of this Kingdom cannot possibly depart from any part of its supremacy 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 privilege 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 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 ingratitude; and she will not bear longer with American injustice. The dangerous resentment of a great people [Page 88] 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 manhood? 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 un­dutiful Child; and should necessary correc­tion render him incapable of future offence, he has only his own obstinacy and folly to blame.



1. By 12 Ch. II. ch. 18, anno 1660. Tobacco not to be transported from America, except to England, or Planta­tions belonging to his Majesty, under the penalty of forfeit­ing ship and goods, &c.

2. By 15 Ch. II. No European goods to be imported into any of the Plantations, except on English-built ships, whereof the master and three-fourths of the men are Eng­glish.—Duty laid on sea-coals sent to the Plantations, by the 10th section of said Act.

[Page 91] By 22 and 23 Ch. II. Plantation goods not to be carried to Ireland, and penalties inflicted for unloading them, other­wise than in England.

3. By 25th Ch. II. The exportation of Plantation com­modities farther restrained.

4. By 13 and 14 Ch. II. sec. 12. Same restraints extend to Molasses and Rice.

By 7 and 8 Wm. III. sec. 16. An Act for preventing Frauds, and regulating the Plantation trade.—Section 15 prohibits any body, claiming lands by Charter or Letters-parent on the Continent of America, from selling their pro­perty to any person, otherwise than natural born subjects of England, Ireland, Wales, and Town of Berwick upon Tweed, without the consent of his Majesty, heirs, and successors.

By 7 and 8 Wm. III. sec. 6. Officers of Customs to have the same power in America, as in England.—Sec. 9. directs that all By laws and Customs in America contrary to said Act, or any other Act to be made in England, shall be void.

8 Geo. I. ch. 15. sec. 24. Furs required to be brought from the Plantations to Great Britain.

5 G II. ch. 7. Lands in the Plantations made liable to the payment of Debts.

5 G. II. ch. 22. Hats not to be exported from one Plan­tation to another.

13 Geo. II ch. 7. Naturalizing all Foreigners, even Jews, who shall reside seven Years in the Colonies.

ACTS complained of by the AMERICANS. IN Mr. GRENVILLE's Administration.

4 G. III. ch. 34. Paper Bills in the Plantations declared void.

UNDER the Administration of Lord ROCKINGHAM and the Duke of GRAFTON.

6 Geo. III. c. 2. The declaratory Act of the Supremacy of Great Britain.

7 G. III. ch. 41. Customs and Duties in the British Co­lonies put under the management of the Commissioners re­siding there.

UNDER the Administration of Lord CHATHAM and the Duke of GRAFTON.

7 Geo. III. c. 59. Suspending all proceedings of the [Page 92] Council of New York, till provision be made for the British troops.

8 Geo. III. ch. 22. Act for more easy recovery of Penal­ties inflicted by the Acts relating to Trade, and the Reve­nues in the Plantations.

ACTS of PARLIAMENT for imposing Taxes on America.

12 Ch. II. ch. 4. Tonnage and Poundage extended to all his Majesty's Dominions, without exception.

25 Ch. II. ch. 7. sec. 2. If Bonds are not given to land the goods imported from America, in England, &c. then several duties to be imposed collected under the direction of the Officers of the Customs in England.

9 Ann. ch. 10.—Post Office.

9 Ann. ch. 27. Lays a duty on Prize goods carried to America.

3 Geo. II. ch. 28. sec. 25. The Half-Subsidy to be paid on Rice from Carolina to Cape Finisterre—8 Geo. II. ch. 19. The same extended to Georgia, and continued down by subsequent Acts.

6 Geo. II. ch. 13. Upon the Importation of Rum, Sugar, and Molasses into America, several duties to be paid.

ACTS complained of by the AMERICANS. IN Mr. GRENVILLE'S Administration.

4 Geo. III. ch. 15. Certain Rates and Duties on foreign goods imported into the Colonies.

5 Geo. III. Postage of Letters.

IN the Administration of Lord CHATHAM and the Duke of GRAFTON.

6 Geo. III. ch. 52. Alterations made in the Act of the 4th of Geo. III.

7 Geo. III ch. 46. Duties laid on the Importation of certain goods imported into the Colonies.

UNDER Lord NORTH'S Administration.

10 Geo. III. The above Act repealed, except as to Tea.


A few more WORDS, on the FREEDOM of the PRESS, Addressed by the PRINTER, to the FRIENDS of LIBERTY in AMERICA.

‘Since the PRESS is FREE, LONG may it REMAIN FREE, must be the fervent wish of every Friend to real Freedom. BELL.

IT was the saying of an Ancient, and wise ENGLISHMAN, (TINDAL) who lived at the time of the Glorious Revolution in 1688, That, ‘While the Freedom of the PRESS is preserved, all other Liberties, both Civil and Religious, will be secured to us, under so faithful a Guardian.’ And it is the decla­ration of the modern, and noble VIRGINIANS, ‘that the Freedom of the PRESS is one of the great bulwarks of Liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic governments.’ Notwithstanding these worthy and estimable authorities, if there are yet any number of mistaken men existing, who under the specious pretence of there being a necessity at some try­ing exigence for a temporary restriction of the FREEDOM of the PRESS, and their foolish advice should at any one time be adopted, we may then bid a final adieu to every thing per­taining to Liberty: For it is more than pro­bable, that like unto the wretched British Par­liament, in the Year 1716, who pretended, there were at that time, too many Jacobites in the nation, to suffer the triennial election of Members for that House—They then tyranni­cally constituted themselves into a septennial par­liament: And for the last sixty years, have illegally and audaciously committed one con­tinued insult upon the constitution of the King­dom, and upon the understandings of the whole [Page] body of the people in Great-Britain.—Now, if Americans will agreeable to the good old Eng­lish advice—

Learn to be wise, from others harm,
Then, they shall do full well;

But, if according to the opinion of some vio­lents against the freedom of enquiry, they will unwisely trample upon that greatest of all pri­vileges, the Liberty of the PRESS; then will they, like the foolish people of Britain, commit suicide on their own liberties, and thus, entail upon themselves, the scorn and contempt of all true and consistent friends to real Liberty, be­cause, if new modes of Government, are either in reality, or in appearance, approaching to­wards the inhabitants of America; it is more peculiarly necessary on these extraordinary oc­casions, that the Liberty of the PRESS should be freely exerted: For, if in these changes, we do not fully retain all our present happy privi­leges, but weakly suffer any restrictions or cur­tailings of Liberty to advance upon us with new establishments, it will afterwards be next to im­possible to regain the desirable possession.

Thus far the Printer still thinks it indispen­sibly his duty to support the Freedom of the PRESS, in which all the lovers of genuine Liberty are deeply interested. And, if there are any, who think otherwise, they may if they please, peruse what follows.


A SHORT ANSWER TO SOME CRITICISMS, Which were Exhibited under the Signature of ARISTIDES: Containing, a reasonable Vindication of the Propriety of those De­fences of the LIBERTY of the PRESS, Which were Annexed to PLAIN TRUTH, And to the Additions to PLAIN TRUTH; Published, in 1776. EXTRACTED from an Old Pamphlet, Published in the Year 1756, Entitled PLAIN TRUTH: Or, Serious Considerations on the Present State of the City of PHILADELPHIA, and Province of PENNSYLVANIA.

IT is said the wise Italians make this pro­verbial Remark on our Nation, viz. The English FEEL, but they do not SEE. That is, they are sensible of inconveniencies when they are present, but do not take sufficient care to prevent them: Their natural courage makes them too little apprehensive of danger, so that they are often surprized by it, un­provided of the proper means of security. When 'tis too late they are sensible of their im­prudence: After great fires, they provide buckets and engines: After a pestilence they think of keeping clean their streets and com­mon shores: and when a town has been sack'd by their enemies, they provide for its de­fence. This kind of AFTER-WISDOM is indeed so common with us, as to occasion the vulgar, though very significant saying, When the Steed is stolen, it is time to shut the stable door.

[Page] (And the Printer of these useful and necessary DEFENCES, because the generality of Mankind doth not receive knowledge intuitively like Angels, but are obliged to have recourse to the established modes among mortals, of hearing and reading; takes the liberty to insert here,)

After the freedom of the Press hath been cir­cumscribed by the ignorance or malice of mistaken zealots, it will then be time to cringe to some cowardly Printer, to beg he would support its Liberty.

N. B. The quibblings of Aristides, concerning the Words first Edition, were sufficiently con­futed five days before they made their appear­ance, by the publication of the second Edition of PLAIN TRUTH.


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