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50 consent of the legislature of that colony in which such army is kept, is against law.
“Resolved, n. 6. D. 10th, it is indispensably necessary to good government, and rendered essential by the Eng. lish constitution, that the constituent branches of the legislature be independent of each other; that, therefore, the exercise of legislative power in several colonies, by a council appointed, during pleasure, by the crown, is unconstitutional, dangerous, and destructive to the freedom of American legislation.
All and each of which the aforesaid deputies, in bebalf of themselves and their constituents, do claim, demand, and insist on, as their indubitable rights and liberties; which cannot be legally taken from them, altered or abridged by any power whatever, without their own consent, by their representatives in their several provincial legislatures.
“ In the course of our inquiry, we find many infringements and violations of the foregoing rights, which, from an ardent desire that harmony and mutual intercourse of affection and interest may be restored, we pass over for the present, and proceed to state such acts and measures as have been adopted since the last war, which demonstrate a system formed to enslave America.
“Resolved, n.C. D. that the following acts of parliament are infringements and violations of the rights of the colo. nists; and that the repeal of them is essentially necessary, in order to restore harmony between Great Britain and the American colonies, viz.
“ The several acts of 4 Geo. III. chap. 15, and chap. 34....5 Geo. III. chap. 25....6 Geo. III. chap. 52.... 7 Geo. Ill. chap. 41, and chap. 46....8 Geo. III. chap. 22; which impose duties for the purpose of raising a revenue in America; extend the power of the admiralty courts beyond their ancient limits; deprive the American subject of trial by jury; authorize the judge's certificate to indemnify the prosecutor from damages, that he might otherwise be liable to; requiring oppressive security from a claimant
of ships and goods seized, before he shall be allowed to defend his property, and are subversive of American rights.
“ Also 12 Geo. III. chap. 24, intituled, an act for the better securing his majesty's dockyards, magazines, ships, ammunition, and stores,' which declares a new offence in America, and deprives the American subject of a constitutional trial by a jury of the vicinage, by authorizing the trial of any person charged with the committing of any offence described in the said act, out of the realm, to be indicted and tried for the same in any shire or county within the realm.
“ Also the three acts passed in the last session of par. liament, for stopping the port and blocking up the har. bour of Boston, for altering the charter and government of Massachussetts Bay, and that which is intituled, an act for the better administration of justice, &c.'
“ Also, the act passed in the same session for establishing the roman catholic religion in the province of Quebec, abolishing the equitable system of English laws, and erecting a tyranny there, to the great danger, (from so total a dissimilarity of religion, law, and government) of the neighbouring British colonies, by the assistance of whose blood and treasure the said country was conquered from France.
“ Also, the act passed in the same session for the better providing suitable quarters for officers and soldiers in his majesty's service in North America.
“ Also, that the keeping a standing army in several of these colonies, in time of peace, without the consent of the legislature of that colony in which such army is kept, is against law. .
“ To these grievous acts and measures, Americans cannot submit; but in hopes their fellow subjects in Great Britain will, on a revision of them, restore us to that state, in which both countries found happiness and prosperity, we have for the present only resolved to pursue the following peaceable measures: 1. to enter into a nonimportation, non-consumption, and non-exportation agreement or association. 2. To prepare an address to the people of Great Britain, and a memorial to the inhabitants of British America: and, 3. to prepare a loyal address to his majesty, agreeable to resolutions already entered into."
This resolution proposed, “ that when the governor, council, and assembly, or general court of any of his majesty's provinces or colonies in America, shall propose to make provision, according to the condition, circumstances, and situation of such province or colony, for contributing its proportion to the common defence (such proportion to be raised under the authority 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 should be approved by his majesty and the two houses of parliament, and for so long as such provision should 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 continue to levy or to impose for the regulation of the commerce, the net produce of the duties last mentioned to be carried to the account of such province, colony, or plantation, respectively."
This resolution was communicated to congress, on the 30th of May, in the following manner ;..." a member informed the congress, that a gentleman, just arrived from London, had brought with him a paper, which, he says, he received from lord North, and which was written, at the desire of his lordship, by mr. Grey Cooper, under secretary to the treasury, and as the gentleman understood it to be his lordship's desire that it should be communicated to the congress, for that purpose he had put it into his hands.
The member further observed, that he had shown the paper to a member near him, who was well acquainted with the hand writing of mr. Cooper, and that he verily believes the paper was written by mr. Cooper. The paper being read, is as follows:
“ That it is earnestly hoped by all the real friends of the Americans, that the terms expressed in the resolution of the 20th of February last, will be accepted by all the colonies, who have the least affection for their king and country, or a just sense of their own interest.
“ That these terms are honourable for Great Britain, and safe for the colonies.
“ That if the colonies are not blinded by faction, these terms will remove every grievance relative to taxation, and be the basis of a compact between the colonies and the mother country.
“ That the people in America ought, on every consideration, to be satisfied with them.
" That no further relaxation can be admitted.
“ The temper and spirit of the nation are so much against concessions, that if it were the intention of the administration, they could not carry the question.
“ But administration have no such intention, as they are fully and firmly persuaded, that further concessions would be injurious to the colonies as well as to Great Britain.
“ That there is not the least probability of a change of administration.
“ That they are perfectly united in opinion, and determined to pursue the most effectual measures, and to use the whole force of the kingdom, if it be found necessary, to reduce the rebellious and refractory provinces and colonies.
“ There is so great a spirit in the nation against the congress, that the people will bear the temporary distresses of a stoppage of the American trade. “ They may depend on this to be true.”
This paper was ordered to lie on the table, and the resolution which had been referred to congress by the legislatures of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, was not acted on until the last of July, some time after hostilities had commenced, when it was resolved, " that the colonies of America are entitled to the sole and exclusive privilege of giving and granting their own money. That this involves a right of deliberating whether they will make any gift, for what purposes it shall be made, and what shall be its amount; and that it is a high breach of this privilege for any body of men, extraneous to their constitutions, to prescribe the purposes for which money shall be levied on them, to take to themselves the authority of judging of their conditions, circumstances, and situations, and of determining the amount of the contribution to be levied.
That as the colonies possess a right of appropriating their gifts, so are they entitled at all times, to inquire into their application, to see that they be not wasted among the venal and corrupt for the purpose of undermining the civil rights of the givers, nor yet be diverted to the support of standing armies, inconsistent with their freedom, and subversive of their quiet. To propose, therefore, as this resolution does, that the monies given by the colonies shall be subject to the disposal of parliament alone, is to propose that they shall relinquish this right of inquiry, and put it in the power of others to render their gifts ruinous, in proportion as they are liberal.
That this privilege of giving or of withholding our monies, is an important barrier against the undue exertion of prerogative, which, if left altogether without control, may he exercised to our great oppression ; and all history shows how efficacious is its intercession for redress of grievances, and re-establishment of rights, and how