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Lord North. Colonel Barré's Warnings. General Gage in Boston. No Co-operation. Dissolution of Assemblies. Bernard.
don at less than half the expense.” Pownall, after alluding to the early settlement of Amer. ica, the privations of the people, their virtues and courage, perseverance and enterprise, re. marked, “But now that spirit, equally strong and equally inflamed, has but a slight and trifling sacrifice to make ; the Americans have not a country to leave, but a country to defeud ; and have not friends and relatives to leave and forsake, but friends and relatives to unite with and stand by in one common union.” But all efforts to avert the evil were vain; Mr. Fuller's motion was negatived by a majority of one hundred and sixty-nine against sixty-five. Lord North had succeeded Charles Townshend as Chancellor of the Exchequer. He began his long career of opposition to the Americans by offering a resolution, on the 14th - of March, that a respectful petition or remonstrance from the people of New York should not be received. This proposition, which was adopted, called up Colonel Barré. He reminded the House that he had predicted all that would happen on the passage of the Stamp Act, and he now plainly warned ministers that, if they persisted in their wretched course of oppression, the whole continent of North America would rise in arms, and those colonies, perhaps, be lost to England forever. But the British Legislature, blinded by ignorance of Americans when the Stamp Act was passed, seemed now still more blind, because of films of prejudice gener. ated by a false national pride. The motion of Lord North O'N prevailed—the petition was refused acceptance. Gage went to Boston in October, to enforce the req/ o, uisitions of the Quartering Act. But he found none to - co-operate with him except Governor Bernard, whose zeal in his majesty's service had procured him a baronetcy, at the king's expense. The Council and the select-men declined to act, and Gage was obliged to hire houses for the troops, and provide many articles for them out of his own military chest. Thus matters remained until spring, when intelligence of the several acts of Parliament against Massachusetts aroused the fiercest sentiments of opposition, short of actual rebellion, throughout the colonies. Legislative Assemblies spoke out boldly, and for this crime they were dissolved by royal governors. Yet amid all the excitement the colonists held out the olive branch of peace and reconciliation. The Massachusetts Assembly convened in May, and resolved that it was incon- Mayal. sistent with their dignity and freedom to deliberate in the midst of an armed force, 17*. and that the presence of a military and naval armament was a breach of privilege. They refused to enter upon the business of supplies, or any thing else but a redress of grievances, and petitioned the governor to remove the troops from Boston. He not only refused, but adjourned the Assembly to Cambridge, when he informed them that he was going to England to lay a statement of the affairs of the colony before the king. The House unanimously voted a petition to his majesty, asking the removal of Bernard forever; and also adopted a resolution, declaring that the establishment of a standing army in the colony, in time of peace, was an invasion of natural rights, a violation of the British Constitution, high
‘It has been said that when Charles Townshend's project of taxation was in agitation, the English merchants offered to pay the taxes, or an equivalent for them, rather than run the risk of provoking the Americans and losing their trade.—Pictorial History of the Reign of George III., i., 72. * Frederic, Earl of Guilford, better known as Lord North, was a man of good parts, sincerely attached to English liberty, and conscientious in the performance of all his duties. Like many other statesmen of his time, he utterly misapprehended the character of the American people, and could not perceive the justice of their claims. Devoted to his king and country, he labored to support the dignity of the crown and the unity of the realm, but in so doing he aided in bringing fearful misery upon the Americans for a time. He was a persuasive orator, a fair logician, amiable in private life, and correct in his morals. He was afflicted with blindness during the last years of his life. He died July, 1792, aged sixty years.
Departyre of Governor Bernard for England. Effect of the Non-importation Agreements. Hillsborough's Circular Letter.
ly dangerous to the people, and unprecedented. The governor, finding the members incorri. Aumal, gible, dissolved the Assembly, and sailed for England,' leaving the colony in charge 1769 of his lieutenant, Thomas Hutchinson. The effects of the non-importation agreements upon English commerce again brought ministers to their senses. The English merchants were really more injured by the acts of Parliament than the Americans, and they joined their petitions with those of the colonists for a repeal of the noxious acts.” Under the direction of Lord North, Hillsborough sent a circular letter to the colonies, intimating that the duties upon all articles enumerated in the late act would be taken off, as a measure of expediency, except on tea. This would be a partial relief from the burden, but not a removal of the cause of complaint. The principle was the same whether duties were exacted on one article or a dozen, and so long as the assumed right of Parliament to tax the colonies was practically enforced in the smallest degree, so long the Americans felt their rights infringed. Principle, not expediency, was their motive of action, and, therefore, the letter of Hillsborough had no effect in quieting the disturbed ocean of popular feeling. The year 1769 closed without any apparent approximation of Great Britain and her American colonies to a reconciliation.
* Francis Bernard was Governor of New Jersey after Governor Belcher, in 1756. He succeeded Powmall as Governor of Massachusetts in 1760, and held the office nine years. The first years of his administration were satisfactory to the inhabitants, but, associating himself with ministers in their taxation schemes, he became odious to the Massachusetts people. His first false step was the appointment of Hutchinson chief justice instead of the elder Otis. When difficulties arose under the Stamp Act and kindred measures, Bernard was unfit for his position, for he had no talent for conciliation, and was disposed to use British power more prodigally than British justice in maintaining the supremacy of the laws. He was created a baronet in the summer of 1769. He never returned to America after leaving it, and died in England in June, 1779.
* The exports from England to America, which in 1768 had amounted to $11,890,000, $660,000 being in tea, had fallen in 1769 to $8,170,000, the tea being only $220,000.-Murray's United States, i., 352.
Pownall, in the course of a speech in Parliament, also showed that the total produce of the new taxes for the first year had been less than $80,000, and that the expenses of the new ‘ustom-house arrangements had reduced the net profits of the crown revenue in the colonies to only $1475, while the extraordinary military expenses in America amounted, for the same time, to $850,000–Hildreth ii., 552.
secret workings of the Spirit of Liberty. Brief Review. Alternative of the Colonies. The Newspaper Press.
“There is a spirit working in the world,
Like to a silent, subterranean fire;
Yet, ever and anon, some monarch hurl’d
The dungeon’d nations now once more respire
By Delphi's fountain-cave that ancient choir
“Grand jurors, and sheriffs, and lawyers we'll spurn;
E have considered, in the preceding chapter, the most important events, during the first nine years of the reign of George III., having any bear- ing on the Revolution. We have seen the germs of oppression, planted at different times from the era of the Restoration, springing into - life and vigor, and bearing the bitter fruit of tyranny; and observed the bold freemen of America pruning its most noxious branches, and trampling = in the dust its “apples of Sodom.” We have seen the tide of British power swelling high, and menacing, and beheld the firm rock of sound principles fearlessly breasting its billows, and hurling them back toward their source. We have seen a loyal people, warmly attached to the person of their sovereign, and venerating the laws of their fatherland, goaded, by ministerial ignorance and haughty indifference respecting the claims of right when interfering with expediency, to the assumption of manly defiance both of king and Parliament, until hireling butchers, with pike and bayonet, were seated in their midst to “harass the people and eat out their substance.” We now behold them pressed to the alternative to Fight or BE SLAVES. For several years the newspaper press had been rapidly growing in political importance, and the vehicle of mere general news became the channel of political and social enlightenment. In proportion to the development of its power and the creation of public opinion favorable to its views, was the increase of its boldness, and at the beginning of 1770 the American press was not only united in sentiment, but almost as fearless in the expression of political and religious opinions as the newspapers of the present day. American liberty was its theme, and almost every sheet, whether newspaper, almanac, tract, or hand-bill, issued at this time, was tinctured, if not absolutely pervaded, by the absorbing topic. I have before
Bickerstaff's Boston Almanac. Explanation of its Frontispiece. Revival of the Terms “Whig" and “Tory."
me a copy of Bickerstaff's Boston Almanac for 1770, the title-page of which is here given, with a fac-simile of the engraving that adorns it. The portrait of Otis is supported on one side by Liberty, and on
> the other by Hercules, B I C K E R S T A F F ' S or Perseverance. At the
B O STO.N AL MAN A C K * feet of the latter, uncoil
ing, preparatory to strikFor the Year of our LORD 1770. Being the second Year after Leap Year. ing a blow, is the venom
ous rattlesnake, an emblem used on some of the colonial flags when the war began. This was significant of the intention of America, under the guidance of the Spirit of Liberty, to persevere, and strike a deadly blow, if necessary. The poetry and maxims of the almanac are replete with political sentiments favorable to freedom; and its pages contain the cellebrated “Massachusetts Song of Liberty,” which became almost as popular || throughout the colonies as did Robert Treat Paine's “Adams and Liberty” at a later day.” It is believed to have been written by Mrs. Mercy Warren. Party lines began now to be strictly drawn, and the old names of Whig and Tory, used in En| gland toward the close of the seventeenth century, and recently revived, were adopted here, the former being assumed by those B O S T O N : who opposed Parliament
Printed by MEIN and FLEEMING, and to be sold by John MEIN, at the ary taxation, and the latLONDON BOOK-STORE, North-side of KING-STREET. ter applied to those who
[Price seven Coppers single, and 25 s. Old Tenor, or 3 s. 4. Lawful the Dozen.] favored it.” In Boston the wound inflicted by Bernard, in the introduction of soldiers, was daily festering. A weekly paper, the “Journal of the Times,” fostered the most bitter animosity against the soldiers, by the publication of all sorts of stories concerning them, some true, but many more false and garbled. Daily quarrels between citizens and soldiers occurred upon the Common and in the streets; and
* We give on the following page a copy of the Massachusetts Song of Liberty, with the music, as printed in the Boston Almanac. * See note, page 71.