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that the agent of the colony had not been allowed to deliver their petition to the king; it having been objected, that the assembly without the governor, was not sufficient authority. This did not allay the ferment; it was further augmented, by the news that a number of troops had been ordered to repair to Boston, to keep the inhabitants in awe. A dreadful alarm pow ensued; the people called on the governor to convene a general assembly, in order to remove the fears of the military; who, they said, were to be assembled to overthrow their liberties, and enforce obedience to the laws to which they were entirely averse. The governor replied, it was no longer in his power to call an assembly, having, in his last instructions from England, been required to wait the king's orders; the matter being then under consideration there.

Thus refused, the people took upon themselves to call an assembly, which they termed a convention. The proceedings and resolutions of this body, partook of the temper and disposition of the late assembly; but they went a step farther: and having voted, “ That there is apprehension in the minds of many, of an ap: proaching rupture with France," requested the inhabitants to put themselves in a posture of defence, against any sudden attack of an enemy; and circular letters were directed to all the towns in the province, acquainting them with the resolutions that had been taken in the capital, and exhorting them to proceed in the same manner.

The town of Hatfield alone refused its concurrence. The convention thought proper, however, to assure the governor of their pacific intentions, and renewed their request, that a gen. eral assembly might be called; but being refused an audience, and threatened to be treated as rebels, they at last thought proper to dissolve themselves, and sent over to Britain a circumstantial account of their proceedings, with the reason for having assembled in the manner already mentioned.

On the very day the convention broke up, the troops arrivet, and houses in the town were fitted up for their reception. Their arrival had a considerable influence on the people, and for some time put a stop to the disturbances; but the seeds of discord had taken such deep root, that it was impossible to quench the flame. The outrageous behaviour of the people of Boston, had given great offence in England: and, notwithstanding all the efforts of oppositioa, an address from both houses of Parliament was presented to the king; in which the behaviour of the colony of Massachusetts Bay was set forth in the most ample manner, and vigorous measures recommended for reducing them to obedience. The Americans, however, continued steadlast in the ideas they had adopted.

Though the troops had for some time quieted the disturbances, yet the calm continued no longer than they were formidable on account of their number, but as soon as they were separated by

the departure of a large detachment, the remainder were treated with contempt. and it was even resolved to expel them altogether. The country people took up arms for this purpose, and were to have assisted their friends in Boston; but before the plot could be put in execution, an event happened which put an end to every idea of reconciliation betwixt the cotending parties.

On the 5th of March 1770, a scuffle happened between the sol. diers and a party of the town's people; the inhabitants poured in to the assistance of their fellow.citizens; a violent tumult ensued, during which the military fired upon the populace, killed and wounded several of them.

The whole province now rose in arms, and the soldiers were obliged to retire to castle William to prevent their being cut to pieces. Let it be remembered, however, that on the trial, notwithstanding popular prejudice and apprehension, the captain and six of the men were acquitted: two men only being found guilty of man-slaughter.

In other respects, the determinations of the Americans gained strength; until at last, the government determining o act with vigour and, at the same time, with as much condescention as was consistent with its dignity, without abandoning their principles, repealed all the duties laid ; that on tea alone excepted : and this, it was theught, could not be productive of any discontent in America, as being an affair of very little moment; the produce of which was not expected to exceed sixteen thousand pounds sterling

The opposition, however, were strenuous in their endeavours to get this tax repealed; insisting, that the Americans would consider it as an inlet to others; and, that the repeal of all the rest, without this, would answer no good purpose: the event shewed that their opinion was well founded. The Americans opposed the tea tax with the same violence, as they had done all the rest; and at last, when they were informed, that salaries had been settled on the judge of the superior court of Boston, the governor was addressed on the subject; the measure was condemned in the strongest terms; and a committee selected out of the several districts of the colony to inquire into it.

The new'assembly proceeded in the most formal manner to disavow the supremacy of the British legislature; and accused the parliament of Great Britain of having violated the natural rights of the Americans, in a number of instances. Copies of the transactions of this assembly, were transmitted to every town in Massachusetts, exhorting the inhabitants to rouse themselves, and exert every nerve in opposition to the iron hand of oppression, which was daily tearing the choicest fruits from the fair tree of liberty.

These disturbances were also greatly heightened by an acci

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dental discovery, that governor Hutchinson had written several confidential letters to persons in power in England, complaining of the behaviour of the people of the province, recommendiog vigorous measures against them; and among other things, asserting that, “there must be an abridgment of what is called British liberty." Letters of this kind had fallen into the hands of the agent for the colony at London. They were immediately transmitted to Boston, where the assembly was sitting, by whom they were laid before the governor, who was thus reduced to a very mortifying situation.

Losing every idea of respect or friendship for him, as their governor, they instantly despatched a petition to the king, requesting him to remove the governor, and deputy-governor from their places : but to this they not only received an unfavourable answer, but the petition itself was declared groundless and scandalous,

Matters were now nearly ripe for the utmost extremities on the part of the Americans, and they were precipitated in the following manner. Though the colonies had entered into a nonimportation agreement against tea, as well as all other commodi. ties from Britain, it had nevertheless found its way into America, though in smaller quantities than before. This was sensibly felt by the East India company, who had now agreed to pay a large sum annually to government; in recompense for which compliance, and to make up their losses in other respects, they were empowered to export their tea free from any duty payable in England: and, in consequence of this permission, several ships freighted with this commodity, were sent to North America, and proper agents appointed for taking charge, and disposing of it.

The Americans now perceiving that the tax was thus likely to be enforced, whether they would or not, determined to take every possible method to prevent the tea from being landed; well knowing that it would be impossible to hinder the sale, should the cominodity once be brought on shore. For this purpose the people assembled in great numbers, forcing those to whom the tea was consigned, to resign their offices; and to promise solemnly never to resume them; and committees were appointed to examine the accounts of merchants, and make public tests, declaring such as would not take them, enemies to their country. No

was this behaviour confined to the colony of Massachusetts Bay; the rest of the provinces entered into the contest, with the same warmth; and manifested the same resolution to oppose this invasion of their rights.

In the midst of this confusion, three ships laden with tea, arrived at Boston; but so much were the captains alarmed at the disposition of the people, that they offered, providing they could get the proper discharges from the tea consignees, custom-house and governor, to return to Britain without landing their cargoes. The

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the departure of a large detachment, the remainder were treated with contempt. and it was even resolved to expel them altogether. The country people took up arms for this purpose, and were to have assisted their friends in Boston; but before the plot could be put in execution, an event happened which put an end to every idea of reconciliation betwixt the cotending parties.

On the 5th of March 1770, a scuffle happened between the sol. diers and a party of the town's people; the inhabitants poured in to the assistance of their fellow.citizens; a violent tumult ensued, during which the military fired upon the populace, killed and wounded several of them.

The whole province now rose in arms, and the soldiers were obliged to retire to castle William to prevent their being cut to pieces. Let it be remembered, however, that on the trial, notwithstanding popular prejudice and apprehension, the captain and six of the men were acquitted: two men only being found guilty of man-slaughter.

In other respects, the determinations of the Americans gained strength; until at last, the government determining to act with vigour and, at the same time, with as much condescention as was Consistent with its dignity, without abandoning their principles, repealed all the duties laid; that on tea alone excepted: and this, it was theught, could not be productive of any discontent in America, as being an affair of very little moment; the produce of which was not expected to exceed sixteen thousand pounds sterling

The opposition, however, were strenuous in their endeavours to get this tax repealed; insisting, that the Americans would consider it as an inlet to others; and, that the repeal of all the rest, without this, would answer no good purpose: the event shewed that their opinion was well founded. The Americans opposed the tea tax with the same violence, as they had done all the rest; and at last, when they were informed, that salaries had been settled on the judge of the superior court of Boston, the governor was addressed on the subject; the measure was condemned in the strongest terms; and a committee selected out of the several districts of the colory to inquire into it.

The new' assembly proceeded in the most formal manner to disavow the supremacy of the British legislature; and accused the parliament of Great Britain of having violated the natural rights of the Americans, in a number of instances. Copies of the transactions of this assembly, were transmitted to every town in Massachusetts, exhorting the inhabitants to rouse themselves, and exert every nerve in opposition to the iron hand of oppression, which was daily tearing the choicest fruits from the fair tree of liberty.

These disturbances were also greatly heightened by an acci.

1

dental discovery, that governor Hutchinson had written several confidential letters to persons in power in England, complaining of the behaviour of the people of the province, recommending vigorous measures against them; and among other things, asserting that, “there must be an abridgment of what is called British liberty." Letters of this kind had fallen into the hands of the agent for the colony at London. They were immediately transmitted to Boston, where the assembly was sitting, by whom they were laid before the governor, who was thus reduced to a very mortifying situation.

Losing every idea of respect or friendship for him, as their governor, they instantly despatched a petition to the king, requesting him to remove the governor, and deputy-governor from their places: but to this they not only received an unfavourable answer, but the petition itself was declared groundless and scandalous.

Matters were now nearly ripe for the utmost extremities on the part of the Americans, and they were precipitated in the following manner. Though the colonies had entered into a nonimportation agreement against tea, as well as all other commodi. ties from Britain, it had nevertheless found its way into America, though in smaller quantities than before. This was sensibly felt by the East India company, who had now agreed to pay a large sum annually to government; in recompense for which compliance, and to make up their losses in other respects, they were empowered to export their tea free from any duty payable in England: and, in consequence of this permission, several ships freighted with this commodity, were sent to North America, and proper agents appointed for taking charge, and disposing of it.

The Americans now perceiving that the tax was thus likely to be enforced, whether they would or not, determined to take every possible method to prevent the tea from being landed; well knowing that it would be impossible to hinder the sale, should the cominodity once be brought on shore. For this purpose the people assembled in great numbers, forcing those to whom the tea was consigned, to resign their offices; and to promise solemnly never to resume them; and committees were appointed to examine the accounts of merchants, and make public tesis, declaring such as would not take them, enemies to their country. Nor was this behaviour confined to the colony of Massachusetts Bay; the rest of the provinces entered into the contest, with the same warmth; and manifested the same resolution to oppose this invasion of their rights.

In the midst of this confusion, three ships laden with tea, arriv. ed at Boston; but so much were the captains alarmed at the disposition of the people, that they offered, providing they could get the proper discharges from the tea consignees, custom-house and governor, to return to Britain without landing their cargoes. The

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