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nies till it had well reinforced its military strength Indians, who hurried down to Griffin's Wharf, where the there. This, the most important of all measures, under the tea ships lay, and rushing tumultuously on board, and circumstances, never appeared to occur to the English king hoisting out the tea chests, emptied them into the sea amid or ministry; and this country, which had forced such much triumph and noise. Having thus destroyed teas to hundreds of thousands of men into the Netherland and the amount of eighteen thousand pounds, the mob retreated! German wars, neglected most insanely to transport to this to their houses ; but, says John Adams, in his private diary, scene of insubordination a military power amply capable of “ many persons wished that as many dead carcases were supporting its authority.
floating in the harbour as there were chests of tea." The When such acts as the burning of the Gaspee had been rancour of the Bostonians had reached the blood heat. done with impunity, and whilst the American mind was Governor Hutchinson hastened to inform his government of rankling with all the Franklin poison of the purloined what had taken place, and to assure it that it had not been letters, three vessels arrived at Boston, laden with tea, in his power to prevent the destruction of the tea, unless he under the conditions of lord North's bill. These ships had had yielded the authority reposed in him by the crown of been for some time expected; and tumultuous meetings had England. It never seems to have occurred to Hutchinson been held, and mobs had assembled menacing the houses of to call out the troops and land the goods under their prothe consignees with destruction. On their not assenting tection. In the whole of this contest with the American to send back the tea, their windows had been broken, their colonies it will be seen that nothing could exceed the doors forced in, and themselves compelled to flee to Castle weakness of the governors there, the miserable mediocrity of William for safety.
the commanders, or the headstrong fatuity of the govern. On the arrival of the ships the commotion was intense. ment at home, which was continually passing irritating acts, Another meeting was held, to which the people of the or sending out irritating orders, without taking the necesneighbouring towns flocked in ; and a resolution which had sary precautions of having force in the colonies capable of been passed at Philadelphia, that the tea ships were sent to supporting the executive in its functions. . enslave and poison the free men of America, was unani- ! The parliament opened its session on the 13th of January, mously adopted; and it was agreed that the tea should not 1774. There were the usual questions mooted as to the be landed, but be sent back again.
amount of the navy, the motion of alderman Sawbridge for The consignees proposed that the tea should be allowed to the shortening of parliaments, and for inquiring into the come on shore, and be stowed in locked-up warehouses till acts of government regarding the Middlesex election. But the further instructions should arrive, as had been done at chief measure passed was the bill for rendering perpetual the Charleston; but this proposal was rejected with indignation. act of Grenville for referring questions regarding contro'The Bostonians filled the streets in riotous mobs, menacing verted elections to committee, which was passed by two in the most deadly manner not only the captains of the tea hundred and fifty votes to one hundred and twenty-two ships, but all who should give them any assistance. The against government. Lord North, with his usual impolicy, mob was armed with muskets, rifles, swords, and cutlasses, was decided against rendering this useful act necessary, and and kept guard on the port day and night to prevent the found himself deserted by a whole host of the usual suplanding of the teas. The captains themselves would gladly porters of ministers. Such a blind and unpopular act would have sailed away with their obnoxious cargoes in safety, but have broken up North's cabinet, had not the news arrived the governor very foolishly gave orders that they should not from Boston and engaged the passions of the nation on pass the ports without a permit from himself, and he sent the same side with him. admiral Montague to guard the passages out of the harbour On the 7th of March the king sent a message to both with two ships of war. Whatever the pretences of the houses, announcing the proceedings at Boston, the destrucBostonians might be and they still protested that they tion of the teas; and a mass of papers was sent down to the desired to remain a dependence of England-their acts now house of commons, including the dispatches of governor were revolutionary. The home government was set at defi- Hutchinson, of admiral Montague, letters from the conance by arms; and it would have been sufficient for the tea signees of the teas, and other communications from governors ships to have returned and reported their inability to remain and officers of the other colonies, with copies of the in the port of Boston without certain destruction of cargo, numerous inflammatory handbills, pamphlets, manifestoes, to have called forth the executive powers of the nation. &c., which had been circulated in America. The sensation
A meeting was held in Boston on the 16th of December, was intense. A warm debate ensued as to the course of at which Josiah Quincey, junior, told the people that the action necessary, and an address to the king was agreed to, contest must end in bullets and cannon balls; that they who strongly condemning the conduct of the Rhode Islanders imagined that shouts and hosannas could terminate the trials and the Bostonians. At this juncture, Mr. Bollad, the of the day, deceived themselves. A message was sent from agent for the Massachusetts council, begged to lay before the meeting demanding of the governor that the ships the house of commons the charters of queen Elizabeth and should be sent home again, and, on the governor refusing, a her successors, securing the liberties of that colony. The man, disguised as an Indian, gave a wild war-whoop in the charters were received and laid on the table. meeting, and the meeting hastened to separate.
The news from Boston could not have arrived at a But it separated only to reassemble again in a different moment when the public mind was more ill-disposed shape. As the evening grew dark, those who had quitted towards the Americans. The affair of the abstraction of the meeting were met by whole mobs arrayed as wild Mr. Whately's private letters from his house or office, and
a the dintreet, and the bipoe the wil
their publication, contrary to all custom and to its own himself the author of all. I can compare him only to engagement, by the Massachusetts assembly, had produced Zanga, in Dr. Young's Revenge:'-a deep conviction in all classes in England of the utter
Know, then, 'twas I; disregard of honour both in the American colonists and of
I forged the letter I disposed the picture their agent, Franklin. This disgraceful violation of the
I hated—I despised—and I destroy! sacred security of private papers roused the indignation I ask, my lords, whether the revengeful temper attributed to of Mr. William Whately, banker, in Lombard-street, and
the bloody African is not surpassed by the coolness and brother to the late Mr. Thomas Whately. He conceived
apathy of the wily American ?” strong suspicions of John Temple, afterwards Sir John
Priestley, in a letter, describes the effect of Wedderburn's Temple, lieutenant-governor of New Hampshire, and, though
address as received with what must seem a mad merriment one of the commissioners of customs at Boston, really hostile | by the council. “Mr. Wedderburn had a complete triumph. to the commission, and a strong partisan of Franklin.
At the sallies of his sarcastic wit, all the members of the Whately challenged Temple, and was severely wounded
council, the president himself, lord Gower, not excepted, in the rencontre. At this, Franklin came forward with
frequently laughed outright; and no person belonging to an avowal that neither the late Mr. Whately nor Mr.
the council behaved himself with decent gravity, except lord Temple had anything to do with the carrying off of
North, who came in late." te letters; that he alone was responsible for this acto | Franklin is said to have felt so keenly the invectives of Franklin then proceeded to state what was perfectly
Wedderburn and the laughter of the council, that from that untrue—that these were not private letters between friends, day he resolved to himself
day he resolved to himself to do his utmost to effect the but by public officers on public affairs, and intended to
separation of the colonies. That the not undeserved procure public measures. This was contrary to the whole
castigation which he received did deepen the feeling, is most of the facts which we have stated; and Franklin pro- I probable, but the feeling had evidently been long in his ceeded to assert what was equally untrue—that the only
bosom, and all his actions showed it. It is added, that from secrecy attached to the letters was, that they should
that hour he carefully laid by the dress of figured Manchester not be put into the hands of any colonial agent, who
velvet, which he wore on that occasion, until the day on might send them, or copies of them, to America. If
which he signed the treaty which acknowledged the indeeven the smallest part of this were true-for Franklin was
pendence of the United States. Yet, both Franklin and the sach an agent-he had acted contrary to his own pledge to
other leaders of the colonists still kept on the mask of keep the secret, being the very man to send them to the
moderation, and of a pretended desire to retain the union public assembly of Massachusetts.
with the mother country, though we have it, on the In consequence of these circumstances, occasion was taken,
authority of Adam Smith, that Franklin said, with much on the presentation of the petition of the people of Boston,
triumph, in the presence of a particular friend of his, that, for the removal of the governor and lieutenant of Massa
“whatever measures Great Britain might choose to pursue, chusetts, to the privy council, to animadvert severely on whether mild or rigorous, they would equally tend to bring Franklin's conduct. This took place on the 29th of Janu- l about that great and desirable event the entire indeary, when Dunning and Lee were retained on the part of pendence of America." the petition, and Wedderburn, the solicitor-general, ap- The privy council decided that the petition from Massapeared for the crown. There were no less than thirty-five chusetts was framed on false and exaggerated allegations, privy councillors present, amongst them lord North, and lord and was groundless, vexatious, and scandalous. Two days Gower at their head, as lord president. There was an afterwards, the king dismissed Franklin from the office, intense excitement on the occasion, and a severe crush to which he had till now held, of deputy - postmaster of obtain entrance; and, amongst the persons struggling in, America—a circumstance calculated to deepen his animosity, were Burke and Dr. Priestley.
for, from all that we can gather from Franklin's writings, he Neither Dunning nor Lee spoke effectively, but as if they had a much deeper and more lively idea of the value of by no means relished the cause in which they were engaged ; I money than of the value of high principles in matters of while Wedderburn seemed animated by extraordinary life and diplomacy. bitterness. He was the friend of Whately, who was now And what were the measures which the British governlying in a dangerous state from his wound. After speaking ment resorted to in order to reduce the rebellious colonies of the charter and the insubordinate temper of the people to obedience? The obvious measure was to send out fresh of Massachusetts, he fell with withering sarcasm on troops, and to maintain such a garrison in all the great seaFranklin, who was present. “Hitherto,” he said, “private ports as should back the civil authorities in just and prudent correspondence had been held sacred, even in times of acts. But it has been well observed by a modern historian, the most rancorous party fury. But here was a gentle that however the separation of America must have occurred man who had a high rank amongst philosophers, and should at some later period, its severance then was the work“ of be the last to sanction such infamous breaches of honour, the most marvellous and incredulous combination of openly avowing his concern in them. He asked where, accident, craft, imbecility, and madness,” that ever arose. benceforth, Dr. Franklin could show his face ; that Instead of strengthening its power, the government hastened henceforth he must deem it a libel to be termed "a man to pass a series of bills, each more calculated to enrage the of letters.' Amidst tranquil events, here is a man who, Bostonians than another, without thinking of a single with the utmost insensibility of remorse, starts up and avows means of enforcing these bills. So far from this enforce
monster bij Massachusettlement in the Fores
ment, they were obviously not capable of maintaining the thought proper to order a new commission of the treasury to laws already in existence.
| be made out, in which I do not perceive your name." On the 14th of March lord North moved to bring in a Thus summarily dismissed, Fox started forth a full-length bill to take away from Boston the customs, the courts of reformer; opposed the Boston Port Bill in a style which justice, and government offices, and give them to New startled his old colleagues, who had not suspected the Salem. This bill was carried through both houses with volcano of talent and of freedom slumbering there. He again little opposition. Bollan, the agent of the council of Massa- attacked the charter bill, contending that, before such a bill chusetts, desired to be heard against the bill, but was was passed, compensation should be demanded from the refused. It received the royal assent on the 31st of Bostonians for the teas destroyed, and that, till such conMarch, and the trade of Boston was annihilated.
pensation was refused, such a bill was premature. Powall On the 19th of April Mr. Rose Fuller moved that the foretold that the corresponding committees, which were in house, in committee, should consider the propriety of full activity, would recommend a congress, and that it was repealing the obnoxious tea duty. The ministers replied easier to foresee the consequences than to prevent them; and that certainly this was not the moment to argue that Barré also prognosticated the application to France, and be question ; that every act of concession so far had only ready assistance to the colonies, in revenge of the loss of produced augmented insolence on the part of the colonists ; Canada. Probably these suggestions of the opposition were and as to the right of taxing the Americans through the first hints to the colonies for the adoption of these very customs, port duties, &c., the weight of legal and philoso- measures. The bill passed the commons by a majority of two phical authority was in favour of it. To say nothing of hundred and thirty-nine against sixty-four ; and it passed Grenville, Townshend, and Rockingham, Chatham, Gibbon, the lords by a majority of ninety-two against twenty. Burke, Hume, Dr. Johnson, Adam Smith, Soame Jenyns, Nor had government done with its bills. A bill was and others, had always held that right as unquestionable. brought into the lords for the better quartering and regu.
Whilst this bill was passing the lords, on the 28th of lating the troops in the colonies ; and on the 27th of May March lord Gower brought a fresh one into the com- Chatham attended, and spoke in strong condemnation of the mons, which had no less object than the repeal of the conduct of the people of Boston, but in still stronger of the charter of Massachusetts. It was entitled, “A bill for the irritating acts of the ministers towards them. He recombetter regulating government in the province of Massachu- mended milder measures, and that then, should these not setts Bay." It went to remove the nomination of the succeed, he was ready to join in more stringent ones, such as members of the council, of the judges and magistrates, &c., should make them feel what it was to offend a fond and from the popular constituencies to the crown. Lord North forgiving parent. observed that the charter of William III, had conferred But even now another bill passed the house of commonsthese privileges on Massachusetts as exceptional to all other bill for removing to another colony for trial any inhabitant colonies, and that the consequence was that the governor of Massachusetts Bay, who was indicted for any murder of had no power whatever. Strong opposition was made to other capital offence which the governor might deem to be this proposed bill by Dowdeswell, Sir George Saville, Burke, perpetrated in the attempt to put down tumults and riots. Barré, governor Powball, and general Conway. Conway This measure was still more vehemently opposed than the asked of what crimes and errors the New Englanders had rest. Colonel Barré referred to the trial and acquittal of been really guilty, and prophecied only just exasperation, captain Preston, as a proof that the juries of Boston were to misfortune, and ruin. Lord North, in reply, said, “Do you be trusted. But, in the midst of these debates, news arrived ask what the people of Boston have done? I will tell you, of a fresh ship, named the Fortune, which had been emptied then. They have tarred and feathered your subjects, of its teas at Boston, and the whole destroyed. On this. plundered your merchants and your ships, denied all lord North exclaimed, “ Gentlemen talk of the people of obedience to your laws and authority. Our conduct has Boston seeing their error! Is this, sir, seeing their error? been clement and long-forbearing; but now it is incumbent Is this, sir, reforming ? this making restitution to the Eas: to take a different course. Whatever may be the conse- India Company ? Surely, after this, no person will urge quence, we must risk something, or all is lost.”
anything in their defence ? " Amongst the most powerful opponents to the bill ap- Before the debate closed, Mr. Rose Fuller uttered these peared Charles James Fox. Fox had displayed no parti-prophetic words :-"I will now take leave of your whole cular talent so long as he was in the ministerial ranks. He plan; you will commence your ruin from this day. I am appeared quite satisfied to receive his salary, and to squander sorry to say, that not only the house has fallen into this that and a great deal more in gambling; but no sooner error, but the people ; and, if ever there was a nation rundid his father, lord Holland, set him at ease by paying ning headlong into ruin, it is this.” In the lords it cooff his debts, the amount of which was one hundred countered an equally strenuous opposition, but it passed both and forty thousand pounds, and he not yet twenty- houses by large majorities. Still, there was one more bill: five, than he showed himself considerably restive. On but this related to the province of Canada. The French the opening of parliament he made speeches greatly catholic inhabitants amounted to one hundred and fifts to the astonishment and indignation of the king and thousand, whilst the protestants were said to amount only his ministers. Remonstrance producing no effect, on the to about four hundred. The French people had repeatoily 24th of February a letter from lord North was put into his petitioned for the recognition of their faith by law; and hands, in these laconic terms :-"Sir, his majesty has this bill, whilst it defined the boundaries of the codsay.
including in it all lands in the back settlements, not named maged, according to Jefferson's own memoirs, the old records in any previous charter, consented to the prayer of of the parliamentary proceedings against Charles I. The the majority of the inhabitants in favour of their school in which these new revolutionists studied is thus religion. This gave extreme offence to the rigid puritan indicated :-" With the help of Rushton," says Jefferson, population of New England, but was undoubtedly the most " whom we rummaged for revolutionary precedents, and jadicious of all this batch of acts, for it rendered the natives from the puritans of that day, we cooked up a resolution, of Canada loyal, and perfectly insensible to all the after at- somewhat modernising their phrases, for appointing the 6th tempts of the American insurgents to win them over to their of June, on which the Port Bill was to commence, for a day party. Besides leaving the catholics in full enjoyment of of fasting, humiliation, and prayer, to implore Heaven their religion, but only within their own community, it to avert from us the evil of civil war; to inspire us with made provision for the protestant faith, and it left the firmness in support of our rights, and to turn the hearts of Canadians in possession of their ancient laws, except that in king and parliament to moderation and justice.” Conscious, criminal cases the trial by jury was introduced. A pro- however, that neither of these concoctors of the resolutions vincial assembly was established, which was to be appointed had much venerability of character to add weight to such a and dismissed by the crown, and to take cognisance of all motion, they applied to a solemn elder, Robert Carter colonial matters, except taxation.
Nicholas, to move it, which he did, and it passed without To commence a course of more rigour in Massachusetts, opposition. governor Hutchinson was recalled, and general Gage, a man The next day, however, being the 25th of May, lord tho bad seen service, and had the reputation of firmness and Dunmore, the governor of the province, dissolved the promptitude, was appointed in his stead. He set out for his assembly, expressing much displeasure at the resolution. new government with high expectations of what he should The members, nothing daunted, retired to the Raleigh be able to effect, declaring that the Americans would only Tavern, and, in their favourite retreat, the Apollo Chamber, prove lions so long as the English continued lambs. passed a series of resolutions. The chief of these were to Governor Hutchinson, on his arrival, confirmed the ministry purchase nothing of the East India Company, except saltin these ideas. Indeed, one of the great mistakes of the petre and spices, until their injuries were redressed ; to English altogether, had been always to entertain a con- request the members of all corresponding committees to tempt for the colonists. That they were nothing short of take measures for the appointment of members to a general cowards, had been openly asserted by lord Sandwich in the congress, thus immediately adopting the idea of governor pers, and colonel Grant in the commons. The name of Pownall; that the new members of the assembly (the writs " Yankee " was become an epithet of ridicule, being origin- for which were already issuing) should meet at Williamsally merely the corruption of the word Anglois by the Indians. | burg, to elect delegates from that colony to the congress. These remarks excited the deepest resentment in America. This done, the members all separated to their own homes,
Bat the mischief of the new acts became rapidly apparent, | having agreed to solicit the clergy to recommend from their and all the prophecies of congresses and resistance were soon pulpits the general keeping of the fast-day of the 1st of realised. Had the Boston Port Bill alone been passed, perhaps June. This recommendation was adopted by the clergy, not much harm might have been done. There were num- and Jefferson says that its effect throughout the colony was bers of people all over America who were of opinion that electrical. Boston had gone too far in destroying the tea, and might' In the meantime, general Gage landed at Boston on the have remained passive if the Bostonians had been compelled 13th of May. The Port Bill had preceded him a few days, to make compensation. But the fatal act was that which and the tone of the other colonies rendered the Bostonians abolished the Massachusetts charter. That made the cause firmer in their temper than ever. Gage had married an common; that excited one universal alarm. If the English American lady, and he was received with every show of government were thus permitted to strike out the colonial cordiality and respect by the council, the magistrates, and iharters at pleasure, all security had perished. All the principal gentlemen. He was invited to a public dinner, colonies determined to support their own cause in supporting and the same evening Hutchinson was burnt in effigy. The that of Massachusetts. Those who adhered to the English next day a meeting was called, which showed what sort of government were henceforth known only as “tories;” and stuff Gage would have to deal with. The resolve of the men like colonel Washington, who had hitherto belonged to meeting was to stop all importation and exportation from the moderate party, now assumed a more hostile tone. The Great Britain and the West Indies until the Port Act was language of the opposition in England added to the en- repealed. The copy of the Port Act was printed with a couragement of the most determined; and the death of broad black border, and the document was circulated all Louis XV. of France kindled a hope that his more over the colonies, with fierce comments, and the denunciamoral and well-disposed successor might be induced to sym- tion of the act as "a barbarous, cruel, bloody, and inhuman pathise with a people struggling for independence against murder.” In many places it was burned publicly. At New the power which had driven France from the North York, where parties were more equally balanced, threats American States.
were used to compel the inhabitants to sympathise with the The Virginians were the first to move to lead the move people of Boston. At Philadelphia, except the Quakers, ment. Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson took the initi- who chiefly adhered to the government, there was a geneative in a measure which would have better suited the ral agreement to keep the fast, and, under the name of character of the religious New Englanders. They rum- | " the Solemn League and Covenant," an association to
refrain from consumption of English goods was formed, to remove, on the 1st of June, the assembly, the courts of and a subscription was set on foot, and recommended justice, and all the public offices, to Salem, in conformity generally through the corresponding societies, for the with the late act. As they petitioned him to set apart a assistance of those Bostonians who should be sufferers day for fasting, he declined that, and, to prevent further from the loss of their trade.
trouble, adjourned them to the 7th of June, to meet al On the 25th of May general Gage announced to the Salem. The first thing on their meeting was to appoints assembly at Boston the unpleasant fact, that he was bound committee to inquire into the state of the province; whil-?