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assured that out of all the sums raised in America juniformly adopted this equitable administration in the last year but one, if the expenses are deducted, all our distant provinces as far as circumstances which the natives would else have discharged would admit, it would have placed this country, themselves, the net revenue paid into the treasury ages, at the head of human affairs in every to go in aid of the sinking fund, or to be employed quarter of the world. My lords this is no visionary, in whatever public services parliament shall think or chimerical doctrine. The idea of governing fit, is eighty-five pounds. Eighty-five pounds, my provinces and colonies by force is visionary and lords, is the whole equivalent we have received chinerical. The experiment has often been tried for all the hatred and mischief, and all the infinite and it never has succeeded. It ends infallibly in losses this kingdom has suffered during that year he ruin of the one country or the other, or in the in her disputes with North America. Money that last degree of wretchedness., is earned so dearly as this, ought to be expended
If there is any truth, my lords, in what I have with great wisdom and economy. My lords, were said, and I most firmly believe it all to be true, let you to take up but one thousand pounds more from
me recommend to you to resume that generous and North America upon the same terms, the nation benevolent spirit in the discussion of our differ. itself would be a bankrupt. But the most amazing ences which used to be the source of our union. and most alarming circumstances are still behind. We certainly did wrong in taxing them: when the It is that our case is so incurable, that all this
stamp-act was repealed, we did wrong in laying on experience has made no impression upon us. And other taxes, which tended only to keep alive yet, my lords, if you could but keep these facts, claim that was mischievous, impracticable and which I have ventured to lay before you, for a few useless. We acted contrary to our own principles moments in your minds (supposing your right of of liberty, and to the generous sentiments of our taxation to be never so clear) yet I think you must sovereign, when we desired to have their judges necessarily perceive that it cannot be exercised in dependent on the crown for their stipends as well any manner that can be advantageous to ourselves
as their continuance. It was equally unwise to or them. We have not always the wisdom to tax wish to make the governors' independent of the ourselves with propriety; and I am confident we people for their salaries. We ought to consider could never tas a people at that distance, without the governors, not as spies entrusted with the infinite blunders, and infinite oppression. And to management of our interest, but as the servants of own the truth, my lords, we are not honest enough the people, recommended to them by us. Our ears to trust ourselves with the power of shifting our ought to be open to every complaint against the own burthens upon them. Allow me therefore to governors; but we ought not to suffer the gover. conclude, I think unanswerably, that the inconnors to complain of the people. We have taken a venience and distress we have felt in this change different method, to which no small part of our of our conduct, no less than the ease and tranquility difficulties are owing. Our ears have been open we formerly found in the pursuit of it, will force to the governors and shut to the people. This tis, if we have any sense left, to return to the good must necessarily led us to countenance the jobs of old path we trode in so long, and found it the way interested men, under the pretence of defending of pleasantness.
the rights of the crown. But the people are I desire to have it understood, that I am oppos- certainly the best judges whether they are well ing no rights legislature may think proper to claim: governed; and the crown can have no rights in. I am only comparing two different metbods of go- consistent with the happiness of the people. vernment. By your old rational and generous administration, by treating the Americans as your
Now, my lords, we ought to do what I have friends and fellow.citizens, you made them the suggested, and many things more, out of prudence happiest of human kind; and, at the same time,
and justice, to win their affection, and to do them drew from them, by commerce, more clear profit
public service. than Spain has drawn from all its mines; and their If we have a right to govern them, let us exert growing numbers were a daily increase and addition it for the true ends of government. But, my lords, to your strength. There was no room for improve what we ought to do, from motives of reason and ment or alteration in so noble a system of policy justice, is much more than is sufficient to bring as this. It was sanctified by time, by experience, them to a reasonable accommodation. For thus, 45 by public utility. I will venture to use a bold I apprehend, stands the case: They petition for language my lords; I will assert, that if we had the repeal of an act of parliament, which they complain of as unjust and oppressive. And there is suffered in more instances than one, both in interest not a man amongst us, not the warmest triend of and credit, by not choosing to give up points that Administration, who does not sincerely wish that could not be defended. act had never been made. In fact, they only ask
With regard to the people of Boston, I am free for what we wish to be rid of. Under such a dis- to own that I never approve of their riots nor their position of mind, one would imagine there could punishment: And yet, if we inflict it as we ought, be no occasion for fleets and armies to bring men with a consciousness that we were ourselves the to a good understanding. But, my lords, our
aggressors, that we gave the provocation, and that difficulty lies in the point of honor. We must not their disobedience is the fruit of our own impru. let down the dignity of the mother country; but dent and imperious conduct, I think the punishpreserve her sovereignty over all the parts of the ment cannot rise to any great degree of severity. British empire. This language has something in
I own, my lords, I have read the report of the it that sounds pleasant to the ears of Englishmen,
lords' committees of this house, with very different but is otherwise of little weight. For sure, my sentiments from those with which it was drawn up. lords, there are methods of making reasonable
It seems to be designed, that we should consider concessions, and yet without injuring our dignity. their violent measures and speeches as so many Ministers are generally fruitful in expedients to
determined acts of opposition to the sovereignty of reconcile difficulties of this kind to escape the
England, arising from the malignity of their own embarrassments of forms, the competitions of
hearts. One would think the mother country had dignity and precedency; and to let clashing rights been totally silent and passive in the progress of sleep, while they transact their business. Now,
the whole affair. I, on the contrary, consider these my lords, on this occasion can they find no excuse, violences as the natural effects of such measures no pretence, no invention, no happy turn of lan.
as ours on the minds of freemen. And this is the guage, not one colorable argument for doing the
most useful point of view in which government greatest service they can ever render to their coun.
can consider them. In their situation, a wise man try? It must be something more than incapacity would expect to meet with the strongest marks of that makes men barren of expedients at such a
passion and imprudence, and be prepared to for. season as this. Do, but for once, remove this im
give them. The first and easiest thing to be done practicable stateliness and dignity, and treat the is to correct our own errors: and I am confident matter with a little common sense and a little good
we should find it the most effectual method to cor, humour, and our reconciliation would not be the rect theirs. At any rate let us put ourselves in work of an hour. But after all, my lords, if there the right; and then if we must contend with North is any thing mortifying in undoing the errors of America, we shall be unanimous at home, and the our ministers, it is a mortification we ought to wise and moderate there will be our friends. At submit to. If it was unjust to tax them, we ought
present we force every North American to be our to repeal it for iheir sakes; if it was unwise to tas enemy; and the wise and moderate at home, and them, we ought to repeal it for our own.
A matter those immense multitudes which must soon begin so trivial in itself as the three-penny duty upon tea, to suffer by the madness of our rulers, will unite but which has given cause to so much national to oppose them. It is a strange idea we bave taken hatred and reproach, ought not to be suffered to
up, to cure their resentments by increasing their subsist an unnecessary day. Must the interest, provocations; to remove the effects of our own ill the commerce, and the union of this country and conduct by multiplying the instances of it. But ber colonies, be all of them sacrificed to save the the spirit of blindness and infatuation is gone credit of one imprudent measure of administra- forth. We are hurrying wildly on without any tion! Town I cannot comprehend that there is any fixed design, without any important object. We dignity either in being in the wrong, or in persist. pursue a vain phantom of unlimited sovereignty, ing in it. I have known friendsbip preserved, and which was not made for man: and reject the solid affection gained, but I never knew dignity lost by advantages of a moderate, useful, and intelligible the candid acknowledgement of an error. And, authority. That just God, whom we have all so my lords, let me appeal to your own experience of deeply offended, can hardly inflict a severer naa few years backward (I would not mention par. tional punishment than by committing us to the ticulars, because I would pass no censures and natural consequences of our own conduct. Indeed, revive no unpleasant reflections) but I think every in my opinion, a blacker cloud never bung over this candid minister must own, that administration has island.
To reason consistently wiih the principles of them to enjoy a little longer that short period of justice and national friendship, which I have en- public integrity and domestic happiness, which deavored to establish, or rather to revive what was seems to be the portion allotted by Providence to established by our ancestors, as our wisest rule of young rising states. Instead of hoping that their conduct for the government of America; 1 must constitution may receive improvement from our necessarily disapprove of the bill before us, for it skill in government, the most useful wish I can contradicts every one of them. In our present form in their favor, is that Heaven may long presituation every act of the legislature, even our acts serve them from our vices and our politics. of severity, ought to be so many steps towards the reconciliation we wish for. But to change the go
Let me add further-that to make any changes in vernment of a people, without their consent, is the their government, without their consent, would be highest and most arbitrary act of sovereignty that to transgress the wisest rules of policy, and to one nation can exercise over another. The Ro. wound our most important interests. As they in. mans hardly ever proceeded to this extremity, even crease in numbers and in riches, our comparative over a conquered nation, till its frequent revolts and strength must lessen. In another age, when our insurrections had made them deem it incorrigible. power has begun to lose something of its superiority, The very idea of it, implies a most abject and we should be happy if we could support our auslavish dependency in the inferior state. Recollect thority by mutual good will and the habit of comthat the Americans are men of like passions with manding; but chiefly by those original establishourselves, and think how deeply this treatment ments, which time and public bonor might have must affect them. They have the same veneration rendered inviolable. Our posterity will then bave for their charters that we have for our Magna
reason to lament that they cannot avail themselves
of those treasures of public friendship and conCharta, and they ought in reason to have greater. They are the title deeds to all their rights, both fidence which our fathers had wisely boarded up,
and we are throwing away. 'Tis hard, 'tis cruel, public and private. What! my lords, must these
besides all our debts and taxes, and those enormous rights never acquire any legal assurance and
expenses which are multiplying upon us every year, stability? can they derive no force from the peace.
to load our unhappy sons with the hatred and curse able possession of near two hundred years? and
of North America. Indeed, my lords, we are treatmust the fundamental constitution of a powerful state be, forever, subject to as capricious altera-ing posterity very scurvily. We have mortgaged
all the lands; we have cut down all the oaks; we tions as you think fit to make in the charters of a little mercantile company or the corporation of a
are now trampling down the fences, rooting up the
seedlings and samplers, and ruining all the reborough this will undoubtedly furnish matter for
sources of another age. We shall send the next a more pernicious debate than has yet been moved. Every other colony will make the case its own.
generation into the world, like the wretched heir They will complain that their rights can never be of a worthless father, without money, credit or
friends; with a striped, incumbered, and perhaps ascertained; that every thing belonging to them
untenanted estate. depends upon our arbitrary will; and may think it better to run any hazard, than to submit to the Having spoke so largly against the principle of siolence of their mother-country, in a matter in the bill, it is hardly necessary to enter into the which they can see neither moderation nor end. merits of it. I shall only observe that, even if we
But let us coolly enquire, what is the reason of had the consent of the people to alter their governthis unheard of innovation. Is it to make them ment, it would be unwise to make such alterations peaceablei my lords, it will make them mad. Will as these. To give the appointment of the gover-, they be better governed if we introduce this nor and council to the crown, and the disposal of change? will they be more our friends the least all places, even of the judges, and with a power that such a measure can do, is to make them hate of removing them, to the governor, is evidently us. And would to God, my lords, we had governed calculated with a view to form a strong party in ourselves with as much economy, integrity and our favor. This I know has been done in other prudence, as they have done. Let them continue colonies; but still this is opening a source of perto enjoy the liberty our fathers gave them. Gave petual discord, where it is our interest always to them, did I say? they are co-heirs of liberty with agree. If we mean any thing by this establishourselves; and their portion of the inheritance has ment, it is to support the governor and the council been much better looked after than ours. Suffer against the people, i. e. to qurrrel with our friends,
that we may please their servants. This scheme of having peopled a continent without guilt or of governing them by a party is not wisely imagined, bloodshed, with a multitude of free and bappy it is much too premature, and, at all events, must commonwealths; to have given them the best arts turn to our disadvantage. If it fails, it will only of life and government; and to have suffered them, make us contemptible; if it succeeds, it will make under the shelter of our authority, to acquire in us odious. It is our interest to take very little peace the skill to use them. In comparison of this, part in their domestic administration of govern. the policy of governing by influence, and even the ment, but purely to watch over them for their good. pride of war and victory, are dishonest tricks and We never gained so much by North America as poor contemptible pageantry. when we let them govern themselves, and were
We seem not to be sensible of the high and im. content to trade with them and to protect them.
portant trust which Providence has committed to One would think, my lords, there was some statute
our charge. The most precious remains of civil law, prohibiting us, under the severest penalties, liberty, that the world can now boast of, are now to profit by experience.
lodged in our hands; and God forbid that we should My lords, I have ventured to lay my thoughts violate so sacred a deposite. By enslaving your before you, on the greatest national concern that colonies, you not only ruin the peace, the com. ever came under your deliberation, with as much merce, and the fortunes of both countries, but you honesty as you will meet with from abler men, and extinguish the fairest hopes, shut up the last asylum with a melancholy assurance, that not a word of it of mankind. I think, my lords, without being will be regarded. And yet, my lords, with your weakly superstitious, that a good man may hope permission, I will waste one short argument more that Heaven will take part against the execution on the same cause, one that I own I am fond of, of a plan which seems big not only with mischief, and which contains in it, what, I think, must effect but impiety. every generous mind. My lords, I look upon North
Let us be content with the spoils and the destruc. America as the only great nursery of freemen now tion of the east. If your lordships can see no im. Jeft upon the face of the earth. We have seen the propriety in it, let the plunderer and oppressar liberties of Poland and Sweden swept away, in the still go free. But let not the love of liberty be course of one year, by treachery and usurpation. the only crime you think worthy of punishment. I The free towns in Germany are like so many dying fear we shall soon make it a part of our natural sparks, that go out one after another; and which character, to ruin every thing that bas the mismust all be soon extinguisbed under the destruc. fortune to depend upon us. tive greatness of their neighbors. Holland is little more than a great trading company, with luxurious
No nation has ever before contrived, in so short manners, and an exhausted revenue; with little a space of time, without any war or public calamity strength and with less spirit. Switzerland alone (unless unwise measures may be so called) to is free and happy within the narrow inclosure of its destroy such ample resources of commerce, wealth rocks and vallies. As for the state of this coun. and power, as of laie were ours, and which, if they try, my lords, I can only refer myself to your own had been rightly improved, might have raised us secret thoughts. I am dispoed to think and hope to a state of more honorable and more permanent the best of public liberty. Were I to describe her greatness than the world bas yet seen. according to my own ideas at present, I should say Let me remind the noble lords in administration, that she has a sickly countenance, but I trust she that before the stansp-act, they had power sufficient has a long constitution.
to answer all the just ends of government, and they | But whatever may be our future fate, the greatest
were all completely answered. If that is the power glory that attends this country, a greater than any
they want, though we have lost much of it at preother nation ever acquired, is to have formed and sent, a few kind words would recover it all. nursed up to such a state of happiness those colonies But if the tendency of this bill is, as I own it apwhom we are now so eager to butcher. We ought pears to me, to acquire a power of governing them to cherish them as the immortal monuments of our by influence and corruption, in the first place, my public jus'ice and wisdom, as the heirs of our bet. lords this is not true government, but a sophisticated ter days, of our old arts and manners, and of our kind, wbich counterfeits the appearance, but withexpiring national virtues. What work of art, or out the spirit or virtue of the true: and then, as it power, or public utility bas ever equalled the glorylıends to debase their spirits and corrupt their manners, to destroy all that is great and respectable in whom we owe, acknowledge, and will always joy. 80 considerable a part of the human species, and fully pay all due obedience and allegiance) and of by degrees to gather them together with the rest his royal predecessors, ever since the first settleof the world, under the yoke of universal slavery- ment of the province, until of very late time-havo I think, for these reasons, it is the duty of every thought it necessary to unite, as nearly as our cir. wise man, of every honest man, and of every Eng. cumstances will admit, with our sister colonies, in lishman, by all lawful means, to oppose it. resolutions for the purpose aforesaid; and, there.
fore, do hereby agree, and bind ourselves, to and Annapolis, June 29, 1769.
with each other, by all the ties and obliga ions of Several of the counties having before entered into re-honor and reputation, that we will strictly and
svlutions af ron-importation of British superfluities, faithfully observe, and conform to the following and the province, in general, being invited by the
resolutions: people of Anne Arundel county, to request some gentlemen from each county, to meet at this place, FIRST, That we will not, at any time hereafter, on the 20th instuni, in order that a general resolu- directly or indirectly, import, or cause to be imtion of non-importation might be formed There ported, any manner of goods, merchandize, or was accordingly a very full meeting, al which the manufactures, which are, or shall hereafter be, following RESOLUTIONS were entered into; and it taxed by act of parliament, for the purpose of rais. was agreed, that iwelve copies should be printed ing a revenue in America, (except paper not and transmitted to cach county, eo be signed by the exceeding siz shillings per ream, and except such people, which, it is expected, will be done with greut articles only as orders have been already sent for) readiness throughout the province.
but, that we will always consider such taxation, in
every respect, as an absolute prohibition to the We, the subscribers, his majesty's loyal and articles that are, or may be taxed. dutiful subjects, the merchants, traders, freebolders, mechanics, and other inhabitants of
SECONDLY, That we will not hereafter, directly the province of Maryland, seriously considering or indirectly, during the continuance of the aforethe present state and condition of the province, said act of parliament, import, or cause to be imand being sensible that there is a necessity to poried, from Great Britain, or any other part of agree upon sucb measures, as may tend to djs- Europe, (except such articles of the produce or courage, and as much as may be, prevent the use manufacture of Ireland, as may be immediately and of foreign luxuries and superfluities, in the con legally brought from thence, and also, except all sumption of which we bave heretofore too much such goods as orders have been already sent for) indulged ourselves, to the great detriment of our any of the goods herein after enumerated, to wit, private fortunes, and, in some instances, to the horses, spirits, wine, cyder, perry, beer, ale, malt, ruin of our families; and, to this end, to practice barley, peas, beef, pork, fish, butter, cheese, talourselves, and as much as possible, to promote, low, candles, oil, ercepi Salad-oil, fruit, pickles, countenance, and encourage in others, a habit of confectionary, British refined sugar, mustard, cof. temperance, frugality, economy, and industry, and fee, pewter, tin-ware of all kinds, whether plain considering also, that measures of this nature are for painted, waiters, and all kind of japan.ware, more particularly necessary at this time, as the wrought copper, wrought and cast ss, and bellparliament of Great Britain, by imposing taxes metal, watches, clocks, plate, and all other gold upon many articles imported hither from thence, and silversmiths' work, trinkets, and jewellery of and from other parts beyond sea, has left it less all kinds, gold and silver lace, joiners' and cabinet in our power, than in time past, to purchase and work of all sorts, looking-glasses, upholstery of all pay for the manufactures of the mother-country; kinds, carriages of all kinds, ribbons and millinery which taxes, especially those imposed by a late of all kinds, except wig-ribbon, lace, cambrick, act of parliament, laying duties on tea, paper, lawn, muslin, kenting, gauze of all kinds, excepair glass, &c. we are clearly convinced have been im Boulting-cloths, silks of all kinds, except ruw and posed contrary to the spirit of our constitution, and sewing silk, and wig cauls, velvets, chintzes, and have a direct and manifest tendency to deprive us, calicoes of all sorts, of more than twenty pence in the end, of all political freedom, and reduce us per yard, Easi. India goods of every kind, ercept to a state of dependence, inconsistent with thut sall-petre, black pepper, and spices, printed linens, Liberty we have rightfully enjoyed under the go und printed cultons, striped linens, and cottons, vernment of his present most sacred majesty, (to check linens, and cotton checks of all kind,