Графични страници
PDF файл

renown, with prospects that tend to elevate the bu.(by what has heretofore happened, considered the man soul, encourages these flattering expectations. expectation thereof as romantic: But He, who sit.

Should any puny politician object, that all these teth at the helm of the universe, and who boweth prospects are visionary, till we are certain of inde. the hearts of a whole nation as the heart of one pendence, I reply, that we have been in possession man, for the accomplishment of his own purposes, of it for two years, and are daily more able to sup- has effected that, which to human wisdom and port it, and our enemies less able to overset it. (foresight seemed impossible. A review of the When we first dared to contend with Britain, we history of America, from its first discovery to the were a loose, disjointed people, under no other present day, forces upon us a belief, that greater government but that of a well regulated mob. If blessings are reserved for this continent, than she in these circumstances, we were able to defend ever could have possessed whilst lying low at the ourselves, what may we not expect, when we can foot of an European island. draw forth our whole strength in a regular, consti.

It has never yet been fairly tried how far the tutional manner? If the maiden courage of our equal principles of republican government would new levies, has successfully withstood the well secure the happiness of the governed. The an. trained bands of our enemies, can we distrust, cients, unacquainted with the present mode of taking when three campaigns have made them equal in the sense of the people by representatives, were too discipline, with those whom they are to contend? apt, in their public meetings, to run into disorder Such is the situation of Britain, that were we only and confusion. The distinction of patricians and ple. able to keep up the appearance of an army, she bians, laid the foundation of perpetual discord in the could not afford to protract the war: But instead of Roman commonwealth. If the free states of Greece this, our troops are more numerous, better discip. had been under the control of a common superintend. lined, cloathed and armed, than they ever were. ing power, similar to our continental congress,* The most timid may dismiss all their doubts, since they could bave peaceably decided their disputes, Louis the XVI. of France, that illustrious protec. and probably would bave preserved their freetor of the rights of human nature, with a magnani dom and importance to the present day. Happily mity worthy of himself, has guaranteed to us our for us, warned by experience, we have guarded independency. If Britain could not subdue Ame against all these evils. No artificial distinction of rica, when she stood single and alone, how abortive ranks has been suffered to take place among us. must all ber attempts prove, when we are aided We can peaceably convene a state in one small as. by the power of the greatest E! monarch? sembly of deputies, representing the whole in an The special interposition of Providence in our

*Their council of Amphictyones in some things, behalf, makes it impious to disbelieve the final es resembled our congress; but their powers were tablishment of our beaven-protected independence. too limited. This suggests a hint, that a consideCan any one seriously review the beginning, pro

ration of the United States, on principles that

vest the congress with ample powers, is most gress, and present state of the war, and not see in. likely to perpetuate our republican governments disputable evidence of an over-ruling influence on and internal tranquility. The union of indepen. the minds of men, preparing the way for the accom.

dent commonwealths, under one common bead, is

an application of the social compact to states, and plishment of this great event?

requires powers proportionably enlarged. TreaAs all the tops of corn, in a waving field, are in- son in our governments, puts on a new aspect, and clined in one direction by a gust of wind, in like may be committed by a state as well as an indivi.

dual; and therefore ought to be clearly defined, manner, the governor of the world has given one, and carefull guarded against. and the same universal bent of inclination to the To give permanency to our confederation on rewhole body of our people. Is it a work of man, expedient: That congress should have a power to

publican principles, the following regulations seem that thirteen states, frequently quarrelling about limit or divide large states, and to erect new ones: boundaries, clashing in interests, differing in poli. To dispose of the money arising from quit-rents

and vacant lands, at least till all the expenses of cy, manners, customs, forms of government, and

thie war ar sunk: To establish a general intercourse religion, scattered over an extensive continent, between the states, by assigning to each, one or under the influence of a variety of local prejudices, more manufactories, with which it should furnish

the res!; so as to create a reciprocal dependence jealousies, and aversions, should all harmoniously of each, upon the whole: To erect a great conti. agree, as if one mighty mind inspired the whole? nental university, where gentlemen from all the Our enemies seemed confident of the impossi- states may form an acquaniance, receive the finish

ing touches of education, and be inspired with bility of our union; our friends doubted it; and all continental liberality of mind, superior to local indiffereat persons, who judged of things present, I prejudices, and favorable to a confederated anion.

equal proportion. All disputes between the dif- the mountains, illuminating our hemisphere with ferent states, and all continental concerns, are to liberty, light, and polished life. Our indepen be managed by a congress of representatives from dence will redeens one quarter of the globe from each. What a security for liberty, for union, for tyranny and oppression, and consecrate it the cho. every species of political happiness! Small states sen seat of truth, justice, treedom, learning and are weak, and incapable of defence; large ones are religion. We are laying the foundation of happi. unwieldly, greatly abridge natural liberty, and ness for countless millions. Generations yet un. their general laws, from a variety of clashing inte. born will bless us for the blood-bought inheritance, rests, must frequently bear hard on many individu. we are are about to bequeath them. Oh bappy als: But our confederation will give us the strength times! Oh glorious days! Ob kind, indulgent, boun. and protection of a power equal to that of the tiful Providence, that we live in this highly favor. greatest; at the same time that, in all our internal ed period, and have the honor of helping forward concerns, we have the freedom of small indepen. these great events, and of suffering in a cause of dent commonwealths. We are in possession of such infinite importance! constitutions that contain in them the excellencies of all forms of government, free from the inconve. Judge Drayton's Charge. niences of each; and in one word, we bid fair to be At an adjournment of the court of GENERAL SXS.

SIONS OF THE PEACE, OYER AND TERMIXER, ASSIZE the happiest and freest people in the world for

AND GENERAL GAOL DELIVERY, held at Charleston ages yet to come.

for the district of Charleston, on Tuesday the When I anticipate in imagination the future glory 23d day of April, 1776—Before the hon. Wil.

LIAM HENRY DRAYTON, esq. chief justice, and of my country, and the illustrious figure it will

his associates, justices of the colony of South. soon make one the theatre of the world, my heart Carolina. distends with generous pride for being an Ameri. On motion of Mr. Attorney General, ORDERED, can. What a substratum for empire! compared That the charge of his honor, the chief justice,

delivered to the grand jury, be published toge with which, the foundation of the Macedonian, the

ther with their presentments. Roman, and the British, sink into insignificance.

By order of the court, Some of our large states have territory superior to


May 2d. the island of Great Britain; whilst the whole, toge. ther, are little inferior to Europe itself. Our in.

Gentlemen of the grand jury-When, by evil ma. dependence will people this extent of country with freemen, and will stimulate the innumerable inha.

cbinations tending to nothing less than absolute ty. bitants thereof, by every motive, to perfect;the acts

ranny, trials by jury have been discontinued, and of government, and to extend human happiness.

juries, in discharge of their duty, bave assembled,

and as soon as met, as silently and arbitrarily disa I congratulate you on our glorious prospects. missed without being impannelled, whereby, in conHaving for three long years weathered the storms tempt of magna charta, justice has been delayed of adversity, we are at length arrived in view of the and denied; it cannot but afford to every good citi. calm haven of peace and security. We have laid the zen, the most sincere satisfaction, once more to foundations of a new empire, which promises to see juries, as they now are, legally impannelled, to enlarge itself to vast dimensions, and to give hap. the end, that the laws may be duly administered piness to a great continent. It is now our turn to I do most beartily congratulate you opon so imfigure on the face of the earth, and in the annals of portant an event. the world. The arts and sciences are planted In this court, where silence has but too long among us, and, fostered by the auspicious influ. presided, with a direct purpose to loosen the bands ence of equal governments, are growing up to ma- of government, that this country might be involvturity; while truth and freedom flourish by their ed in anarchy and confusion, you are now met to sides. Liberty, both civil and religious, in her regulate your verdicts, under a new constitution of noon-tide blaze, shines forth with unclouded lustre government, independent of royal authority: A on all ranks and denominations of men.

constitution which arose according to the great Ever since the flood, true religion, literature, law of nature and of nations, and which was es. arts, empire and riches, have taken a slow and tablished in the late congress, on the 26th of gradual course from east to west, and are now March last-A day that will be ever memorable about fixing their long and favorite abode in this in this country-a month, remarkable in our histonew western world. Our sun of political happi- ry, for having given birth to the original constitu. ness is already risen, and hath lifted its head over tion of our government in the year 1669; for being



the æra of the American calamities by the stamp act, | 1721, RECOGNIZED the British monarch: The virtues in the year 1765; for being the date of the repeal of the second George are still revered among usof that act in the following year; and for the con- I was the father of his people: And it was with clusion of the famous siege of Boston, when the extacy we saw his grandson, George the Third, American arms compelled general Howe, a gene- mount the throne possessed of the hearts of his ral of the first reputation in the British service, subjects. with the largest, best disciplined, and best pro

But alas! almost with the commencement of his vided army in that service, supported by a formido reign, his subjects felt causes to complain of go. able feet, so precipitately to abandon the most

vernment. The reign advanced-the grievances impregnable fortifications in America, as that he became more numerous and intollerable the com. left behind him a great part of the bedding, mili. plaints more general and loud-the whole empire tary stores, and cannon of the army. And for so resounded with the cries of injured subjects! At many important events, is the month of March re. length, grievances being unredressed and ever en. markable in our annals--But I proceed to lay be creasing; all patience being borne down; all hope fore you, the principal causes leading to the late destroyed; all confidence in royal government revolution of our government—the law upon the blasted!“Behold! the empire is rent from pole to point--and the benefits resulting from that happy pole!-perhaps to continue asunder forever. and necessary establishment.—The importance of

The catalogue of our oppressions, continental the transaction deserves such a state--the occa. sion demands,--and o'r future welfare requires will mention only some of the most weighty.

and local, is enormous. Of such oppressions, I it: To do this may take up some little time; but the subject is of the highest moment, and worthy

Under color of law, the king and parliament of of your particular attention: I will therefore con. Great Britain have made the most arbitrary at. fine my discourse to that great point; and, after tempts to enslave America: charging you to attend to the due observance of By claiming a right to BIND THE COLONIES "IN tbe jury law, and the patrol and negro acts, for. ALL CASES WHATSOEVER;" bearing to mention the other common duties of a

Ry laying duties at their mere will and pleasure grand jury, I will expound to you THE CONSTITU. upon all the colonies; 'T10OF YOUR COUNTRY.

By suspending the legislature of New York; The house of Brunswick was yet scarcely set.

By rendering the American charters of no vali. tled in the British throne, to which it had been dity, having annulled the most material parts of the called by a tree people, when, in the year 1719, charter of the Massachusetts-Bay; our ancestors in this country, finding that the go.

By divesting multitudes of the colonists of their vernment of the lords proprietors operated to their property, without legal accusation or trial; rujn, exercised the rights transmitted to them by

By depriving whole colonies of the bounty of their forefathers of England; and casting off the Providence on their own proper coasts, in order to proprietary authority, called upon the house of coerce them by famine; Brunswick to rule over them-& house elevated

By restricting the trade and commerce of Ame. to royal dominion, for no other purpose than to

rica; preserve to a people their unalienable rights. Tbe

By sending to, and continuing in America, in king accepted the invitation, and thereby indispu. time of peace, an armed force without and against tably admitted the legality of that revolution. And the consent of the people; in so doing, by his own aci, lie vested in those

By granting impunity to a soldiery instigated to our forefathers, and us their posterity, a clear right

murder the Americans; lo effect another revolution, if ever the government of

By declaring, that the people of Massachusetts. the house of Brunswick should operate to the ruin Bay are liable for offences, or pretender offences, of the people.-So the excellent Roman emperor,

done in that colony, to be sent to, and tried for the Trajan, delivered a sword to Saburanus, his cap. same in ENGLAND; or in any colons where they tain of the Prætorian guard, with this admired cannot have the benefit of a jury of the vicinage; sentence. “Receive this sword, and use it to de.

By establishing in Quebec, the Roman Catholic fend me if I govern well, but against me, if I be. religion, and an arbitrary government; instead of have ill."

the Protestant religion and a free government. With joyful acclamations our ancestors, by act And thus America saw it demonstrated, that no of assembly, passed on the 18.1 day of August,' aith ought to be put in a royal proclamation; for


I must observe to you that, in the year 1763, by stime, measures might be taken for preventing the such a proclamation, people were invited to settle further destruction of the lives of his majesty's in Canada, ana were assured of a legislative re. subjects:"-But, it was in vain! - The petition on presentation, the benefit of the common law of the part of millions, praying that the effusion of England, and a free government. It is a misfor-blood might be stayed, was not thought worthy of trine to the public, that this is not the only in. an answer! The nefarious war continued. The stance of the ineflicacy of a royal preclamation: ruins of Charlestown, Palmouth and Norfolk, towns However, having given you one instance of a failure not constructed for offence or defence, mark the of royal faith in the northern extremity of this humane progress of the royal arms: So the ruins of abused continent, let it suffice, that I direct your Carthage, Corinth, and Numantium, proclaimed to attention to the southern extremity; respecting the world that justice was expelled the Roman which, the same particulars were, in the same senate!-On the other hand, the fortitude with manner promised, but the deceived inhabitants of which America has endured these civil and mili. $t. Augustine are left by their grand jury, in vain tary outrages; the union of her people, as astonishto complain and lament to the world, and yet ing as unprecedented, when we consider their va. scarcely permitted to exercise even that privilege rious manners and religious tenets; their distance distinguisliing the miserable, that royal faith is not from each other; their various and clashing local kept with them.

interests, their self denial; and their miraculous The proceedings which I have enum erated, either success in the prosecution of the war: I say, these immediately or in their evident consequences, things all demonstrate that the Lord of Hosis is on deeply affected all the colonies: ruin stared them our side! So it is apparent, that the Almighty Con. in the face. They united their counsels, and laid structor of the universe, having formed this conti. their jost complaints before the throne, praying nent of materials to compose a state pre-eminent a redress of grievances. But, to their astonish in the world, is now making use of the tyranny of rgent, their dutiful petition for peace and safety, the British rulers, as an instrument to fashion and was answered only by an actual commencement of arrange those materials for the end for which, in

his wisdom, he had formed them. war and military destruction!

In this enlightened age, humanity must be par. In the mean time, the Britisb troops that had been peaceably received by the devoted inhabitants and it is scarce to be believed, that the British ty.

ticularly shocked at a recital of such violences; of Boston, as the troops of their sovereign bound 10

ranny could entertain an idea of proceeding against protect them! fortified that town, to imprison the

America by a train of more dishonorable machiinhabitants, and to hold that capital against the

nations. But, nothing less than absolute proof bas people to whom it belonged! And the British convinced us that, in carrying on the conspiracy rulers baving determined to appeal from reason

against the rights of humanity, the tyranny is ca. and justice, to violence and arms, a select body

pable of attempting to perpetrate whatever is inof those troups, being in the night suddenly and

famous. privately marched from Boston-at Lexington, on the 19th day of April, 1775, they by surprise soned inhabitants of Boston, the king's general,

For the little purpose of disarming the impridrtw the sword of civil war, and plunged it into

Guge, in the face of day, violated the public faith, the breasts of the Americans! Against this horrid

by himself plighted; and in concert with other go. injustice the Almighty gave instant judgment: A

vernors, and with John Stuart, he made every at. handful of country reilitia, badly armed, sudden. ly collected, and unconnectedly, and irregularly southern colonies, indiscriminately to massacre man,

tempt to instigate the savage nations to war upon the brought up to repel the attack, discomfited the

woman and child: The governors in general have regular hands of the tyranny; they retreated, and demonstrated, that truth is not in them; they have night saved them from total slaughter:

enveigled negroes from, and have armed them Thus forced to take up arms in our own defence, against their masters; they have armed brother America yet again most dutifully petitioned the against brother-son against fatber!-0! Al. ting, that he would "be pleased to direct some mighty Director of the universe! What confidence mode, by which the united applications of his faith. can be put in a government ruling by such engines, ful colonists to the throne, in presence of their and upon such principles of unnatural destruction! common councils, might be improved into a happy -A government that, upon the 21st day of Decem. and permanent reconciliation; and that in the inean. ber last, made a law, ex post facio, to justify what

had been done, not only without law, but in its na. mental laws, and having withdrawn himself out of ture unjust!--a law to make prize of all vessels Ibis kingdom; has abdicated the government, and trading in, to, or from the united colonies—a law that the throne is thereby vacant." to make slaves of the crews of such vessels, and to

That famous resolution deprived James of his compel them to bear arms against their conscience, crowr; and became the foundation on which the their fathers, their bleeding country!—The world, throne of the present king of Great Britain is built so old as it is, heretofore had never heard of so it also supports the edifice of government which attrocious a procedure: It bas no parallel in the re

we have erected. gisters of tyranny.--But to proceed-

In that resolve, there are but three facts stated The king's judges in this country refused to ad. to have been done by James: I will point them minister justice; and the late governor, lord Wil ont, and examine whether those facts will apply lian Campbell

, acting as the king's representative to the present king of Great Britain, with regard to for him, and on his behalf, having endeavored to the operations of government, by him or His repre. subvert the constitution of this country, by break. sentative, immediately or by consequence affecting ing the original contract between king and people, this colony. attacking the people by force of arms; having vio

The first fact is, the having endeavored to sub. lated the fundamental laws; having carried off the

vert the constitution of the kingdom by breaking great seal, and having withdrawn himself out of

the original contract. this colony, be abdicated the government,

The violation of the fundamental laws is the se. Oppressed by such a variety of enormous inju. cond fact; and in support of these two charges, the ries, continental and local, civil and military, and

lords spiritual and temporal and commons, assemby divers other arbitrary and illegal courses; all

bled at Westminster, on the 12th day of February, done and perpetrated by the assent, command, or

1688, declared that James was guilty. sufference of the king of Great Brilain; the repre. sentatives of South Carolina, in congress assem.

“By assuming, and exercising a power of dis.

pensing with, and suspending of laws, and the exe. bled, found themselves under an unavoidable ne. cessity of establishing a form of government, with cution of laws, without consent of parliament;

"By committing and prosecuting divers worthy powers legislative, executive and judicial, for the good of the people; the origia and great end of prelates, for bumbly petitioning to be excused

from concurring to the said assumed power: all just government. For this oily end, the house of Brunswick was called to rule over us.

“Ry issuing and causing to be executed a com. Oh! agonizing reflection that house ruled us with mission, under the great seal, for erecting a court,

called the court of commissioners for ecclesiasti. swords, fire and bayonets! The British govern.

cal causes: ment operated only to our destruction. Nature

“By levying money for, and to the use of the cried aloud, self preservation is the great law-we

crown, by pretence of prerogative, for other time, have but obeyed.

and in other manner, than the same was granted If I turn my thoughts to recollect in history, a

by parliament: change of government upon more cogent reasons, I say I know of no change upon principles so pro- this kingdom in time of peace, without consent

"By raising and keeping a standing army within voking-compelling-justifiable. And in these re

of parliament; and quartering soldiers contrary to spects, even the famous revolution in England,

law; in the year 1688, is much inferior.—However we

“By causing several good subjects, being proneed no better authority than that illustrious


testants, to be disarmed, at the same time when cedent; and I will therefore compare the causes of,

papists were both armed and employed contrary and the law upon the two events.

to law; On the 7th of February, 1688, the lords and

“By violating the freedom of election of mem. commons of England, in convention, completed bers to serve in parliament: the following resolution.

“By prosecutions in the court of king's bench, "Resolved, That king James the second, having for matters and causes cognizable only in parlia. endeavored to subvert the constitution of the king. inent; and by divers other arbitrary and illegal dom, by breaking the original contract between courses." king and people; and, by the advice of Jesuits and í This declaration, thus containing two points of other wicked persons, having violated the fundal criminality--breach of the origiral contract, and

« ПредишнаНапред »