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the chair was vacant. Whereupon on motion, the Honble John Hancock was unanimously chosen President.
The president having assumed the chair, the Congress agreeable to the order of the day again resolved itself into a committee of the whole to take into their farther consideration the state of America, and after some time spent therein, the president resumed the chair, and MP [Samuel] Ward reported from the committee that they had proceeded in the business, but not having come to a conclusion, desired him to move for leave to sit again.
Resolved, That this Congress will to Morrow again resolve itself into a committee of the whole to take into their farther consideration the state of America.
Adjourned till to Morrow at 9 o'clock.
THURSDAY, MAY 25, 1775
The Congress met according to adjournment and agreeable to the order of the day again resolved itself into a committee of the whole to take into their farther consid eration the state of America, and after some time spent therein, the president resumed the chair, and M? [Samuel] Ward reported from the committee that they had come to certain resolutions respecting New York, which he was desired to report, but not having gone through the rest of the business referred to them, the committee desired him to move for leave to sit again. The resolutions being severally read and agreed to are as follows:
1. Resolved, that a post be immediately taken and fortifyed at or near King's bridge in the colony of New York, that the ground be chosen with a particular view to prevent the communication between the city of New York and the country from being interrupted by land.
2. Resolved, that a post be also taken in the highlands on each side of Hudson's River and batteries erected in such manner as will most effectually prevent any vessels passing that may be sent to harrass the inhabitants on the borders of said river; and that experienced persons be immediately sent to examine said river in order to discover where it will be most adviseable and proper to obstruct the navigation.
3. [Resolved,] That the militia of New York be armed and trained and in constant readiness to act at a moments warning; and that a number of men be immediately Embodied and Kept in that city and so disposed of as to give protection to the inhabitants in case any insult should be offered by the troops, that may land there, and to prevent any attempts that may be made to gain possession of the city and interrupt its intercourse with the country.
4. [Resolved,] That it be left to the provincial congress of New York to determine the number of men sufficient to occupy the several posts above mentioned, and also that already recommended to be taken at or near lake George, as well as to guard the City, provided the whole do not exceed the number of three thousand men, to be commanded by such officers as shall be thereunto appointed by said provincial congress; and to be governed by such rules and regulations as shall be established by sa Congress until farther order is taken by this Congress; Provided also that if the so provincial congress should be of opinion that the number proposed will not be sufficient for the several services above recommended, that the sa congress report their sentiments upon this subject to this Congress as soon as may be.
5. [Resolved,] That it be recommended to the s' provincial congress that in raising those forces they allow
no bounties or cloathing, and that their pay shall not exceed the establishment of the New England colonies.
6. [Resolved,] That it be further recommended to the provincial Congress aforesa that the troops be enlisted to serve until the last day of December next, unless this Congress shall direct that they be sooner disbanded.
A motion being made for an addition to the foregoing Resolutions, #debate arose thereon and after some debate the same was referred till to Morrow, to which time Congress adjourned.
Copy of a Resolution of the House of Commons, Feb 20, 1775.' Resolved, 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 their 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 shall be approved by his Majesty, and the two houses
"On the last day of September, 1774, writs were issued for a new election. The action was unexpected, and is believed to have been taken in order that the petition and other papers of the American Congress might not be received in a Parliament which, however favorable to the existing ministry, might be made even stronger in its interest. The King and Lord North took the keenest interest in the elections for the new Parliament, and the system of election admitted of such manipulation as to ensure a majority in favor of the government. Seats were at the command of the highest bidder, and, costly as it was, a House under the control of the ministry was obtained. The King desired the House to contain “gentlemen of landed property," as the “Nabobs, Planters, and other Volunteers are not ready for the battle." To Lord North, 24 August, 1774. The policy of the King had been determined. The colonies must submit or triumph. “I do not wish to come to severer measures, but we must not retreat; by coolness and an unremitted pursuit of the measures that have been adopted I trust they will come to submit; I have no objection afterwards to their seeing that there is no inclination for the present to lay fresh taxes on them, but I am clear there must always be one tax to keep up the right, and as such I approve of the Tea Duty.” To Lord North, 11 September, 1774.
The new Parliament assembled November 30, 1774, and the King's speech spoke of the continued daring spirit of resistance to the laws in America, which in Massachusetts Bay had broken forth in fresh violences of a very criminal nature, and was countenanced and encouraged in other colonies. He declared his resolution to withstand every attempt to weaken or impair the supreme authority of the legislature over all his dominions, the maintenance of which he considered essential to the dignity, safety and welfare of the empire. It was at this time that Franklin wrote an “intended speech” for the opening of the Parliament (Nation, 9 February, 1899). The address favorable to the Ministry was carried in both houses, and the Parliament adjourned on December 19, to reassemble on January 19, 1775, when the Papers relating to the “Disturbances in North America” were laid before the House, by his Majesty's command, and referred to the consideration of a committee of the whole House on January 26. In the Lords the papers were received on January 20, and on the next day, Lord Chatham, without having consulted any of his party or followers, made his motion for withdrawing the troops from Boston. The motion was of Parliament, and for so long as such provision shall be made accordingly, to forbear, in respect of such province or colony, to levy any duty, 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 commerce, the net produce of the duties, last mentioned, to be carried to the account of such province, or colony, respectively.
Ordered, That the above be referred to the committee for taking into consideration the state of America.
thrown out by a vote of 68 to 18, and early in February the bill for restraining the trade and commerce of the New England colonies was laid before the House, and three Major-Generals had been selected to be sent to America. The Petition of Congress to the King had received no notice except to be included in the mass of papers sent to Parliament, and the well intentioned efforts to obtain from Franklin some definite propositions of compromise and his personal aid in urging them upon the Colonies had produced no results.
Two days after Parliament had assembled, on January 21, the King's Cabinet had met at the house of the Earl of Sandwich, with the following members present: the Lord Chancellor; the Lord President, the Earlsof Sandwich, Dartmouth, Suffolk, Rochford and Lord North. It was agreed "that an address be proposed to the two Houses of Parliament to declare that if the Colonies shall make sufficient and permanent provision for the support of the civil government and administration of justice, and for the defence and protection of the said Colonies, and in time of war contribute extraordinary supplies in a reasonable proportion to what is raised by Great Britain, we will in that case desist from the exercise of the power of taxation, except for commercial purposes only, and that whenever a proposition of this kind shall be made by any of the Colonies we will enter into the consideration of proper laws for that purpose, and in the mean while to entreat his Majesty to take the most effectual methods to enforce due obedience to the laws and authority of the supreme legislature of Great Britain.” Minute of Meeting in Dartmouth Manuscripts. This is the first form of what came to be known as Lord North's motion of reconciliation, adopted by Parliament on February 20. Before that date Chatham had submitted his plan of reconciliation to the Lords (February 1), and while it contained some features embodied in the Cabinet minute, it contained others that led to its rejection. Franklin's criticism on Lord North's motion are in his Writings (Bigelow), V. 524. That the motion came in the form of a surprise to North's followers is shown in Donne, Correspondence of George III with Lord North, I, 231. The Fisheries Bill became a law and military preparations against the Colonies engrossed the attention of government.
The motion was sent to the Colonial Governors in a circular letter from Lord Dartmouth, 3 March, 1775. This letter is printed in the New Jersey Archives, First Series, X, 555. It was submitted to the General Assembly of Pennsylvania by Governor John Penn, 2 May, 1775, and is printed, together with the reply of the Assembly, in the Pennsylvania Packet, 8 May, 1775.