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Title: Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania to the Inhabitants of the British Colonies
Author: Dickinson, John
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania to the Inhabitants of the British Colonies" ***

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Transcriber's note:

Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

Small capital text has been replaced with all capitals.

The carat character (^) indicates that the following letter is
superscripted (example: Esq^r).



  LETTERS
  FROM A FARMER IN
  PENNSYLVANIA.

[Illustration: THE PATRIOTIC AMERICAN FARMER.

J-N D-K-NS--N Esq^r. BARRISTER AT LAW:

Who with Attic Eloquence and Roman Spirit hath Asserted, The
Liberties of the BRITISH Colonies in America.

    'Tis nobly done, to Stem Taxations Rage;
    And raise, the thoughts of a degen'rate Age,
    For Happiness, and Joy, from Freedom Spring;
    But Life in Bondage, is a worthless Thing.


Printed for & Sold by R. Bell. Bookseller]



  LETTERS

  FROM

  A FARMER in _Pennsylvania_,
  TO THE INHABITANTS OF
  THE BRITISH COLONIES

  BY

  JOHN DICKINSON

  WITH AN HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION

  BY

  R. T. H. HALSEY

  [Illustration: mark]

  NEW YORK
  THE OUTLOOK COMPANY
  1903


Copyright, 1903 By R. T. H. HALSEY



  TO THE MEMORY
  OF ONE WHO LOVED HER COUNTRY
  AND ALL THAT PERTAINED
  TO ITS HISTORY



CONTENTS.


                                 PAGE

  INTRODUCTION                   xvii

  NOTES                          xlix

  LETTER I                          5

  LETTER II                        13

  LETTER III                       27

  LETTER IV                        37

  LETTER V                         47

  LETTER VI                        59

  LETTER VII                       67

  LETTER VIII                      79

  LETTER IX                        87

  LETTER X                        101

  LETTER XI                       117

  LETTER XII                      133

  LETTER OF THANKS FROM THE TOWN
    OF BOSTON                     147



ILLUSTRATIONS.


  THE PATRIOTIC AMERICAN FARMER
  J-N D-K-NS-N, Esq^r, Barrister-at-Law        Frontispiece

  Photogravure on copper.

  INITIAL LETTER FROM THE PENNSYLVANIA
  CHRONICLE OF 1768                                  Title

  Line etching on copper.

  CHELSEA DERBY PORCELAIN STATUETTE
  OF CATHERINE MACAULAY                              xliii

  Bierstadt process color print.



INTRODUCTION.


In the issue of the PENNSYLVANIA CHRONICLE AND UNIVERSAL ADVERTISER
of November 30th-December 3d, 1767, appeared the first of twelve
successive weekly "_Letters from a_ FARMER _in_ Pennsylvania _to
the Inhabitants of the_ British _Colonies_," in which the attitude
assumed by the British Parliament towards the American Colonies was
exhaustively discussed. So extensive was their popularity that they
were immediately reprinted in almost all our Colonial newspapers.

The outbursts of joy throughout America occasioned by the repeal of
the Stamp Act had scarcely subsided when, the protracted illness
of Lord Chatham having left the Ministry without a head, the
indomitable Charles Townsend, to the amazement of his colleagues
and unfeigned delight of his King, introduced measure after measure
under the pretence that they were demanded by the necessities of
the Exchequer; but in reality for the purpose of demonstrating the
supremacy of the power of the Parliament of Great Britain over her
colonies in America. Among these Acts were those which provided for
the billeting of troops in the various colonies; others called for
duties upon glass, lead, paint, oil, tea, etc. Of dire portent was
the provision therein, that the revenues thus obtained be used for
the maintenance of a Civil List in America, and for the payment of
the salaries of the Royal Governors and Justices, salaries which had
hitherto been voted by the various Assemblies. The Assembly of New
York, having failed to comply strictly with the letter of the law in
regard to the billeting of the King's troops, was punished by having
its legislative powers suspended.

This action boded ill for the future of any law-making body in
America which should fail to carry out strictly any measure upon
which the British Parliament might agree. The Colonies needed
a common ground on which to meet in their opposition to these
arbitrary Acts of Parliament. The deeds of violence and the
tumultuous and passionate harangues in the northern colonies met
with little sympathy among a large class in the middle and southern
colonies, who, while chafing under the attacks upon their liberties,
hesitated to favor resistance to the home government because of
their unswerving loyalty to their King and their love for the
country to whom and to which they owed allegiance. To these "The
Farmer" appealed when he wrote, "The cause of liberty is a cause of
too much dignity to be slighted by turbulence and tumult. It ought
to be maintained in a manner suitable to her nature, those who
engage in it should breathe a sedate yet fervent spirit animating
them to actions of prudence, justice, modesty, bravery, humanity and
magnanimity." The convincing logic of these letters clearly proved
that the constitutional rights belonging to Englishmen were being
trampled upon in the colonies, and furnished a platform upon which
all those who feared their liberties were endangered could unite.

Under the date of the fifth of November, 1767, the seventy-ninth
anniversary of the day on which the landing of William the Third
at Torbay gave constitutional liberty to all Englishmen, John
Dickinson, of Pennsylvania (for before long it became known that he
was the illustrious author), in a letter addressed to his "beloved
countrymen," called attention to the lack of interest shown by the
Colonies in the act suspending the legislative powers of New York,
and logically pointed out that the precedent thereby established was
a blow at the liberty of all the other Colonies, laying particular
emphasis upon the danger of mutual inattention by the Colonies to
the interests of one another.

The education and training of the author well qualified him to
handle his subject. Born in 1732 on his ancestral plantation on the
eastern shore of Maryland, from early youth John Dickinson had had
the advantages of a classical education.[1] His nineteenth year
found him reading law in a lawyer's office in Philadelphia. Three
years later, he sailed for England, where he devoted four important
years to study at the Middle Temple, and then and there obtained
that knowledge of English common law and constitutional history, and
imbibed the traditions of liberty belonging to Englishmen on which
he later founded his plea for the resistance of the Colonies to the
ministerial attacks upon their liberty. On his return home he took
up the practice of his profession at Philadelphia, and immediately
won for himself a high place at the Bar. Elected in 1760 a member of
the Assembly of Delaware, his reputation for ability and political
discernment gained him its speakership. In 1762 he became a member
of the Assembly of Pennsylvania, where he acquired great prominence
and unpopularity, which later cost him his seat in that body, on
account of his opposition to the Assembly's sending a petition to
the King praying that the latter "would _resume_ the government of
the province, making such compensation to the proprietaries as would
be equitable, and permitting the inhabitants to enjoy under the new
government the privileges that have been granted to them by and
under your Royal ministries."

    [1] "The Life and Times of John Dickinson," by Charles J. Stillé.

Possibly Dickinson's knowledge of the personality of the Ministry
and the dominant spirits in English political circles gained
while abroad, led him bitterly to attack this measure, fathered
and supported by Franklin, for subsequent events soon showed the
far-sightedness which led him to distrust the wisdom of a demand for
the revoking of the Proprietary Charter, even though it were a bad
one. His part in the controversy forced even his bitterest opponents
to admire his ability. The enormous debt incurred by Great Britain
during the then recent war with France led the Ministry to look for
some way of lightening taxation at home. It was decided that America
must pay a share toward lifting the burden resting heavily on
those in England, caused by the financing of the expenses of a war
which drove France from North America. The fact that the colonies
had furnished, equipped and maintained in the field twenty-five
thousand troops and had incurred debts far heavier in proportion
than those at home was forgotten. In 1764 was passed the "Sugar
Act," which extended and enlarged the Navigation Acts and made
England the channel through which not only all European, but also
all Asiatic trade to and from the colonies must flow. At the same
time an announcement was made that "Stamp Duties" would be added
later on. The next year from Dickinson's pen appeared a pamphlet
entitled "THE LATE REGULATIONS RESPECTING THE BRITISH COLONIES ON
THE CONTINENT OF AMERICA CONSIDERED, in a Letter from a Gentleman
in PHILADELPHIA to his Friend in LONDON," in which these late
regulations and proposed measures were discussed entirely from an
economic standpoint. In it was clearly shown how dependent were the
manufacturers and traders in England for their prosperity upon the
trade of the colonies and that any restraint of American trade would
naturally curtail the ability of those in the colonies to purchase
from the home market. The Stamp Act was opposed on the ground that
the already impoverished colonies would be drained of all their gold
and silver which necessarily would have to go abroad in the payment
for the stamps. This letter was conciliatory and persuasive, yet in
the closing pages Dickinson asked:

"What then can we do? Which way shall we turn ourselves? How may we
mitigate the miseries of our country? _Great Britain_ gives us an
example to guide us? SHE TEACHES US TO MAKE A DISTINCTION BETWEEN
HER INTERESTS AND OUR OWN.

"Teaches! She requires--commands--insists upon
it--threatens--compels--and even distresses us into it.

"We have our choice of these two things--to continue our present
limited and disadvantageous commerce--or to promote manufactures
among ourselves, with a habit of economy, and thereby remove the
necessity we are now under of being supplied by _Great Britain_.

"It is not difficult to determine which of these things is most
eligible. Could the last of them be only so far executed as to bring
our demand for British manufactures below the profits of our foreign
trade, and the amount of our commodities immediately remitted home,
these colonies might revive and flourish. States and families are
enriched by the same means; that is, by being so industrious and
frugal as to spend less than what they raise can pay for."

The various Non-Importation Agreements signed during the next ten
years, bear testimony to the popularity of the proposed plan.

This pamphlet circulated freely and increased Dickinson's reputation
as that of a man capable of thoroughly discussing public measures;
it also brought his name to the attention of the British public for
whom the "Letter" was especially written.

At the call of Massachusetts, representatives of nine of the
colonies met in New York in October, 1764, and after a long
discussion (in which Dickinson's knowledge of constitutional law
and English colonial policy enabled him to assume the leadership)
issued a "Declaration of Rights," in which it was asserted
that the inhabitants of the Colonies, standing on their rights
as Englishmen, could not be taxed by the House of Commons while
unrepresented in that body. Memorials were sent abroad protesting
against the proposed acts, expressing, however, their willingness
to meet loyally as in the past any properly accredited requisitions
for funds sent to the various Assemblies. Notwithstanding this
opposition, and the protests of all friends of America in England,
the Stamp Act was passed. A year later it was repealed.

                  _JUST PUBLISHED._

      _Printed on a large Type, and fine Paper_,
      And to be sold at the _LONDON BOOK STORE_
              North Side of King-street

                       _LETTERS_
                          FROM
                A FARMER in _PENNSYLVANIA_

                To the INHABITANTS of the
                    BRITISH COLONIES.

               (_Price two Pistareens_)

  Among all the WRITERS in favor of the COLONIES,
  the FARMER shines unrivalled, for _strength_ of _Argument_,
  _Elegance_ of _Diction_, _Knowledge_ in the _Laws_ of _Great Britain_,
  and _the true interest_ of the COLONIES: A _pathetic_
  and _persuasive eloquence_ runs thro the whole of these
  Letters: They have been printed in every _Colony_ from _Florida_
  to _Nova Scotia_; and the _universal applause_ so justly
  bestowed on the _AUTHOR_, hath fully testified the GRATITUDE
  of the PEOPLE OF AMERICA, for such an
  _able Adviser_ and _affectionate Friend_.

Written in a plain, pure style, with illustrations and arguments
drawn from ecclesiastical, classical and English history, each point
proven with telling accuracy and convincing logic, conciliatory
to the English people, and filled with expressions of loyalty to
the King, these essays, popularly known as the "Farmer's Letters,"
furnished the basis on which all those who resented the attacks on
their liberty were able to unite. Town meetings[2] and Assemblies
vied with each other in their resolutions of thanks. The "Letters"
were published immediately in book form in Philadelphia (three
different editions), New York, Boston (two different editions),
Williamsburgh, London (with a preface written by Franklin), and
Dublin. Franklin was influential, also, in having them translated
into French, and published on the Continent. Owing to the beauty of
its typography and the excellence of its book-making, the Boston
edition, published by Messrs. Mein & Fleeming, has been selected
for republication, and has been reprinted line for line and page
for page, in a type varying but slightly from that used by Mein
& Fleeming. A few typographical errors have been corrected, but
the irregularities in spelling, wherever they exist throughout
the various editions, have been retained. The binding also is
a reproduction of that of the original. Its publication[3] was
announced in the "Boston Chronicle," March 14-21, 1768, by the
advertisement reprinted on the preceding page.

    [2] The "Address from the Town of Providence," printed from the
    original manuscript, is to be found in the Notes, page li.

    [3] Two weeks later a letter of thanks voted by the town of Boston
    was added to this edition.

Valuable as these "Letters" were at home in uniting all factions
in their measures of resistance, yet their influence abroad was of
even more far-reaching effect. Reprinted in London in June, 1768,
this two-shilling pamphlet quickly circulated through coffee-house
and drawing-room. In ministerial circles the "Farmer" caused great
indignation. In a letter from Franklin, addressed to his son,
dated London, 13th of March, 1768, appears the following: "My Lord
Hillsborough mentioned the 'Farmer's Letters' to me, said that he
had read them, that they were well written, and he believed he
could guess who was the author, looking in my face at the same time,
as if he thought it was me. He censured the doctrines as extremely
wild. I have read them as far as Number 8. I know not if any more
have been published. I should, however, think they had been written
by Mr. Delancey, not having heard any mention of the others you
point out as joint authors."

Groaning under their own heavy taxation, the troubles of America
had hitherto appealed but slightly to the average Englishman and
the sympathies of the English people had become involved in the
long-drawn-out struggles of Wilkes to obtain his constitutional
rights. The press published little American news. America was
little discussed; conditions there were practically unknown to all
but the trading class, whose members had prospered through the
monopoly of the constantly increasing commerce with the growing
colonies. This class, naturally fearing the loss of the magnificent
trade which had been built up, had long bemoaned the constantly
increasing friction between the two factions on each side of the
water. Englishmen in general had hitherto paid little attention to
the debates over the various acts raising revenue from the colonies.
From the time the "Farmer's Letters" were published in England the
differences between Parliament and colonies were better understood
there. Untouched and yet alarmed by the political corruption so
prevalent at the time, thinking men saw in these "Letters" a warning
that if their Sovereign was successful in his attempt to take away
constitutional liberty from their fellow Englishmen across the sea,
their own prized liberty at home was in danger. "American" news
became more frequent in the newspapers, "Letters to the Printer,"
the form of editorials of the day, discussed and criticised the
measures of Parliament with great freedom. To the masses, John
Dickinson's name soon became very familiar through the agency of
the press, which under date of June 26-28, 1768, freely noted Isaac
Barré's characterization in the House of Commons of Dickinson as
"a man who was not only an ornament to his country but an honor
to human nature." Almost immediately after the publication of the
London edition, the Monthly Review of July, 1768, forcibly called
the attention of the literary world to the "Farmer's Letters" in an
exhaustive review which is reprinted in the Notes, page liii, for
the purpose of showing the view held by the English Whigs regarding
the doctrines laid down and arguments used by Dickinson in defence
of his position.

The "London Chronicle," under date of September 1st, 1768, printed
the popular Liberty song, written by Mr. Dickinson, and which, set
to the inspiring air of "Hearts of Oak," was being sung throughout
the colonies. In order to give the accompanying letter of request
for the republication of the song, a request which, from its wording
demonstrates the enthusiasm which the song aroused, the latter is
here reprinted from the issue of the Boston "Evening Post" of August
22, 1768.


                            MESSIRS FLEETS

The following SONG being now much in Vogue and of late is heard
resounding in almost all Companies in Town, and by way of eminence
called "The Liberty Song," _you are desired to republish in your_
'circulating' Paper for the Benefit of the whole Continent of
America.

          [To the Tune of Hearts of Oak.]

    Come, join Hand in Hand, brave Americans all,
    And rouse your bold Hearts at fair _Liberty's_ Call,
    No _tyrannous Acts_ shall suppress your _just Claim_,
    Or stain with _dishonor_ America's Name.

    In Freedom we're _born_, & in Freedom we'll _live_,
        Our Purses are ready,
        Steady, Friends, Steady,
    Not as _Slaves_ but as _Freemen_ our money we'll give.

    Our worthy Forefathers--let's give them a Cheer--
    To _Climates unknown_ did courageously steer;
    Thro' _Oceans_ to _Deserts_ for _Freedom_ they came,
    And dying bequeath'd us their _Freedom_ & _Fame_.

      In Freedom we're _born_, &c.

    Their generous Bosoms all Dangers despis'd,
    So _highly_, so _wisely_, their _Birthrights_ they priz'd;
    We'll keep what they gave--we will piously keep,
    Nor frustrate their Toils on the Land or the Deep.

      In Freedom we're _born_, &c.

    The Tree their own Hands had to _Liberty_ rear'd,
    They liv'd to behold growing strong and rever'd;
    With Transport then cry'd, 'now our Wishes we gain,
    For our Children shall gather the Fruits of our Pain.'

      In Freedom we're _born_, &c.

    Swarms of _Placemen_ and _Pensioners_ soon will appear,
    Like Locusts deforming the Charms of the Year;
    Suns vainly will rise, Showers vainly descend,
    If _we_ are to _drudge for_ what _others_ shall _spend_.

      In Freedom we're _born_, &c.

    Then join Hand in Hand brave Americans all,
    By _uniting_ we stand, by _dividing_ we fall;
    _In so righteous a Cause_ let us hope to succeed,
    For Heaven approves of each generous Deed.

      In Freedom we're _born_, &c.

    All Ages shall speak with _amaze_ and _applause_,
    Of the _courage_ we'll shew _in support of our laws_;
    To die we can _bear_--but to serve we _disdain_--
    For _Shame_ is to _Freemen_ more dreadful than _Pain_.

      In freedom we're _born_, &c.

    This Bumper I crown for our _Sovereign's_ Health,
    And this for _Britannia's_ Glory and Wealth;
    That Wealth and that Glory immortal may be,
    If _She_ is but _just_--and if _we_ are but _free_.

    In Freedom we're _born_, & in Freedom we'll _live_,
        Our Purses are ready,
        Steady, Friends, Steady,
    Not as _Slaves_, but as _Freemen_ our Money we'll give.

The following extract from the London "Chronicle" of October 4,
1768, demonstrates how completely the arguments and logic of
the "Farmer's Letters" gained popular approval; how constantly
Dickinson's name was kept before the public, both at home and
abroad; how his fame was toasted; how he was recognized as the
leader of political thought in the colonies. It shows also the
constantly increasing interest in American matters taken by the
press of England since the advent of the "Farmer's Letters," for
the "American News," published in this and other London papers, was
extensively reprinted in the local journals throughout the kingdom.


_Taken from the Boston, in New England, Evening Post of August 22,
                                  1768_

     On Monday the fifteenth instant, the anniversary of the ever
     memorable _Fourteenth of August_, was celebrated by the Sons
     of Liberty in this Town, with extraordinary festivity. At this
     Dawn, the British Flag was displayed on the _Tree of Liberty_,
     and a Discharge of _Fourteen_ Cannon, ranged under the venerable
     Elm, saluted the joyous Day. At eleven o'clock, a very large
     Company of the principal Gentlemen and respectable Inhabitants
     of the Town, met at the Hall under the Tree, while the Streets
     were crowded with a Concourse of People of all Ranks, public
     Notice having been given of the intended Celebration. The
     Musick began at high Noon, performed on various Instruments,
     joined with Voices; and concluding with the universally admired
     _American_ Song of Liberty,[4] the Grandeur of its Sentiment,
     and the easy Flow of its Numbers, together with an exquisite
     Harmony of Sound, afforded sublime Entertainment to a numerous
     Audience, fraught with a noble Ardour in the cause of Freedom:
     The Song was clos'd with the Discharge of Cannon and a Shout of
     Joy; at the same time the Windows of the Neighbouring Houses,
     were adorned with a brilliant appearance of the fair Daughters
     of Liberty, who testified their Approbation by Smiles of
     Satisfaction. The following Toasts succeeded, viz.

    [4] The Song has been given already in our Chronicle.


The following toasts may need brief explanation.--R. T. H. H.:

_1._ _Our rightful Sovereign George the Third._

_2._ _The Queen, Prince of Wales, and the rest of the Royal Family._

_3._ _The Sons of Liberty throughout the World._

_4._ _The glorious Administration of 1766._

    4. The Rockingham Ministry which repealed the Stamp Act.

_5._ _A perpetual Union of Great Britain and her Colonies, upon
      the immutable Principles of Justice and Equity._

_6._ _May the sinister Designs of Oppressors, both in Great
      Britain and America, be for ever defeated._

_7._ _May the common Rights of Mankind be established on the Ruin
      of all their Enemies._

_8._ _Paschal Paoli and his brave Corsicans. May they never want
      the Support of the Friends of Liberty._

    8. The struggles of Paoli and the Corsicans excited great
    interest both in Great Britain and America. Constant references
    are made to these in the "Letters."

_9._ _The memorable 14th of August, 1765._

    9. The day of the demonstration in Boston against the Stamp
    Officers. Daybreak disclosed hanging on a tree an effigy of the
    Stamp Officer Oliver. After hanging all day, at nightfall it was
    taken down by the Sons of Liberty, who placed it on a bier and
    escorted it through the principal streets in Boston to the home
    of Oliver, where, in the presence of a large number of people,
    it was burned.

_10._ _Magna Charta, and the Bill of Rights._

_11._ _A speedy Repeal of unconstitutional Acts of Parliament, and
       a final Removal of illegal and oppressive Officers._

_12._ _The Farmer._

     12. John Dickinson.

_13._  _John Wilkes, _Esq.; and all independent Members of the
        British Parliament_.

_14._ _The glorious Ninety-Two who defended the Rights of America,
       uninfluenced by the Mandates of a Minister, and undaunted by the
       threats of a Governor._

     14. On the 11th day of February, 1768, the Assembly of
     Massachusetts adopted and sent to the various Colonial
     Assemblies a circular letter drawn up by Samuel Adams, informing
     them of the contents of a petition which the Massachusetts
     Assembly had sent to the King. This letter also urged united
     action against the oppressive measures of the Ministry, and
     gave great offense to the King and Ministry. The Secretary for
     the Colonies, Lord Hillsborough, instructed Governor Bernard
     of Massachusetts to order the Assembly to rescind this letter,
     and in case of refusal to dissolve this body. After a thorough
     discussion this request was refused by a vote of "ninety-two" to
     "seventeen."

     Which being finished, the French horns sounded; and after
     another discharge of the cannon, compleating the number
     Ninety-Two, the gentlemen in their carriages repaired to the
     Greyhound Tavern in Roxbury, where a _frugal_ and _elegant_
     entertainment was provided. The music played during the repast:
     After which the following toasts were given out, and the
     repeated discharge of cannon spoke the general assent.

_1._ _The King._
_2._ _Queen and Royal Family._
_3._ _Lord_ Cambden.

    3. A strenuous upholder of the Constitutional rights of the
    Colonies and a strong defender in the House of Lords of the
    doctrine, "No taxation without representation." Contemporary
    writers frequently spelt Camden's name as above.

_4._ _Lord_ Chatham.
_5._ _Duke of_ Richmond.

    5. Another friend of America in the same body.

_6._ _Marquis of_ Rockingham.

    6. Under whose ministry the Stamp Act was repealed.

_7._ _General_ Conway.

    7. The leader in the House of Commons during the Rockingham
    Ministry.

_8._ _Lord_ Dartmouth.

    8. President of the Board of Trade in the Rockingham Ministry,
    much loved in the Colonies. Dartmouth College bears his name.

_9._ _Earl of_ Chesterfield.

    9. A warm adherent of America.

_10._ _Colonel_ Barre.

    10. The companion of Wolfe at Quebec; in replying to Townsend
    during one of the debates over the passage of the Stamp Acts
    he characterized the Americans as "Sons of Liberty," a term
    which immediately was applied throughout the Colonies to those
    who were resenting the interference of Parliament with their home
    government.

_11._ _General_ Howard.

    11. A member of Parliament from Stamford who was active in
    obtaining the repeal of the Stamp Act.

_12._ _Sir_ George Saville.

    12. Represented Yorkshire in the House of Commons; a strong
    supporter of the Rockingham Ministry.

_13._ _Sir_ William Meredith.

    13. Member of Parliament from Liverpool. Lord of the Admiralty
    during the Rockingham Administration.

_14._ _Sir_ William Baker.

    14. Also energetic in securing the repeal of the Stamp Act.

_15._ _John_ Wilkes, _Esq., and a Speedy Reversal of
       his outlawry_.

    15. The struggles of Wilkes excited keen interest in America.

_16._ _The Farmer of_ Pennsylvania.

    16. It is noted that this was the second time Dickinson's health
    was drunk that day. No other American residing in this country
    was toasted.

_17._ _The Massachusetts_ Ninety-Two.

_18._ _Prosperity and Perpetuity to the_ British Empire,
      _on Constitutional Principles_.

_19_. North America: _And her fair Daughters of
      Liberty_.

_20._ _The illustrious Patriots of the Kingdom of Ireland._

    20. In Letter X Dickinson warns against the fate of Ireland.

_21._ _The truly heroic_ Paschal Paoli, _and all the
       brave Corsicans_.

_22._ _The downfall of_ arbitrary _and_ despotic Power
      _in all Parts of the Earth; and Liberty without_
       Licentiousness _to all mankind_.

_23._ _A perpetual Union and Harmony between_ Great
       Britain _and the Colonies, on the Principles
       of the Original Compact_.

_24._ _To the immortal Memory of that_ Hero _of_
       Heroes _William the Third_.

_25._ _The speedy Establishment of a_ wise _and_ permanent
       administration.

_26._ _The_ right _noble Lords, and_ very worthy _Commoners,
       who voted for the Repeal of the_ stamp
       Act _from_ Principle.

_27._ Dennis De Berdt, _Esq; and all the true
      Friends of_ America _in Great Britain, and
      those of Great Britain in America_.

    27. The agent of Massachusetts in London.

_28._ _The_ respectable _Towns of_ Salem, Ipswich _and_
       Marblehead, _with all the Absentees from the
       late Assembly, and their_ constituents, _who
       have publickly approved of the Vote against_
       Rescinding.

    28. Representatives of these towns voted in favor of rescinding.
    Town meetings, however, were held, and the citizens of these
    places recorded themselves as endorsing the action of the majority
    in refusing the "Ministerial Mandates" and condemned the
    position assumed by their own representatives. In letters which
    appeared in the press a number of absentees from the Assembly
    boldly endorsed the action of the majority.

_29._ _May all_ Patriots _be as wise as Serpents, and
       as harmless as Doves_.

_30._ _The_ Manufactories _of_ North America, _and
       the_ Banishment _of Luxury_, Dissipation and
      _other Vices, Foreign and Domestic_.

    30. Referring to the proposal of Dickinson quoted on page xxiii
    of the Introduction.

_31._ _The removal of all Task-Masters, and an effectual
       Redress of all other Grievances._

_32._ _The_ Militia _of_ Great Britain _and of the_ Colonies.

_33._ _As_ Iron _sharpeneth_ Iron, _so may the Countenance
       of every good and virtuous Son and
       Daughter of Liberty, that of his or her
       Friend_.

_34._ _The Assemblies on this vast and rapidly populating
       Continent, who have treated a late
       haughty and "merely ministerial" Mandate
       "with all that Contempt it so justly deserves."_

    34. Referring to the replies of the various Assemblies to the circular
    letter and endorsements of the action of the Massachusetts
    Assembly.

_35._ Strong Halters _and_ sharp axes _to all such as
  respectively deserve them_.

_36._ Scalping Savages _let loose in_ Tribes, _rather
      than_ Legions of Placemen, Pensioners, _and_
      Walkerizing Dragoons.

_37._ _The Amputation of any_ Limb, _if it be necessary
       to preserve the Body_ Politic _from_ Perdition.

_38._ _The oppressed and distressed foreign Protestants._

_39._ _The free and independent Cantons of Switzerland._

_40._ _Their_ High Mightinesses _the States General
       of_ Seven _United Provinces_.

_41._ _The King of_ Prussia.

_42._ _The_ Republic _of_ Letters.

_43._ _The_ Liberty _of the Press_.

_44._ Spartan, Roman, British Virtue, _and_ Christian
  Graces joined.

_45._ _Every man under his own Vine! under his
       own Fig-Tree! None to make us afraid!
       And let all the People say, Amen!_

    45. See page 51.

  Upon this happy occasion, the whole company
  with the approbation of their brethren in Roxbury,
  consecrated a tree in the vicinity; under the shade
  of which, on some future anniversary, they say they
  shall commemorate the day, which shall liberate
  America from her present oppression! Then
  making an agreeable excursion round Jamaica
  Pond, in which excursion they received the kind
  salutation of a Friend to the cause by the discharge
  of cannon at six o'clock they returned to Town;
  and passing in slow and orderly procession
  through the principal streets, and the State-House,
  they retired to their respective dwellings. It is
  allowed that this cavalcade surpassed all that has
  ever been seen in America. The joy of the day
  was manly, and an uninterrupted regularity presided
  through the whole.

  The two illustrations in this volume were
  selected for the purpose of recording prevalent
  contemporary opinions of Dickinson.

  The frontispiece is a reproduction (slightly
  reduced in size)[5] of the very scarce
  print in which John Dickinson is crudely
  portrayed as the author of the "Farmer's
  Letters." It was first advertised for sale in
  the Pennsylvania "Chronicle" under date
  of October 12-17, 1768, as follows:

         Lately published and sold by R. Bell
        at JAMES EMERSON'S, in Market-street,
             near the river, and at JOHN
          HART'S vendue store, in Southward
                (Price One Shilling)

        an elegant engraved COPPER PLATE PRINT
            of the PATRIOTIC AMERICAN FARMER;
  The same glazed and framed, price Five Shillings.

      [5] Reproduced through the courtesy of the Library Company of
      Philadelphia. I wish also to express my obligation to my friends
      Messrs. Wilberforce Eames of the Lenox Library and Robert H.
      Kelby of the New York Historical Society for repeated access to
      the volumes of Colonial Newspapers, etc., in the collections
      under their charge.

     This specimen of early American engraving, the work of some
     unknown artist and engraver, was undoubtedly inspired by the
     following article which appeared in the Pennsylvania "Chronicle"
     for May, 9-16, 1768, as well as the many other newspapers in
     the colonies, so eager was the press to publish any information
     concerning the author of the "Farmer's Letters." The inscription
     is thus explained as well as the elimination of the vowels from
     Dickinson's name.

                            PHILADELPHIA

     On Tuesday last, by order of the Governor and Society of Fort
     St. David's, fourteen Gentlemen, members of that Company, waited
     upon J-n D-ck-nson Esq; and presented the following address, in
     a Box of Heart of Oak.

     RESPECTED SIR,

     When a Man of Abilities, prompted by Love of his Country, exerts
     them in her Cause, and renders her the most eminent Services,
     _not to be sensible_, of the Benefits received, is Stupidity;
     _not to be grateful for them_, is Baseness.

     Influenced by this Sentiment, we, the Governor and Company
     of Fort St. David's, who among other Inhabitants of _British
     America_, are indebted to you for your most excellent and
     generous Vindication of Liberties dearer to us than our Lives,
     beg Leave to return you our heartiest Thanks, and offer to you
     the greatest Mark of Esteem, that, as a Body, it is in our Power
     to bestow, by admitting you, as we hereby do, a Member of our
     Society.

     When that destructive Project of _Taxation_, which your
     Integrity and Knowledge so signally contributed to baffle
     about two years ago, was lately renewed under a _Disguise_ so
     _artfully contrived_ as to delude Millions, You, sir, _watchful_
     for the Interests of Your Country, _perfectly_ acquainted with
     them, and _undaunted_ in asserting them, ALONE detected the
     Monster concealed from others by an altered Appearance, exposed
     it, stripped of its insidious covering, in its own horrid Shape,
     and, we firmly trust by the Blessing of God on Your Wisdom and
     Virtue, will again extricate the _British_ Colonies on this
     Continent from the cruel Snares of Oppression; for we already
     perceive these Colonies ROUSED _by your strong and seasonable_
     Call, pursuing the salutary Measures advised by You for
     obtaining Redress.

     Nor is this all that you have performed for Your NATIVE LAND.
     _Animated by a sacred_ Zeal, _guided by Truth and supported
     by Justice_, YOU _have penetrated to the Foundations of the
     Constitution_, have _poured_ the clearest Light on the important
     _Points_, hitherto involved in a Darkness bewildering even
     the Learned, and have _established_ with an amazing Force
     and Plainness of Argument, the TRUE DISTINCTIONS and GRAND
     PRINCIPLES, that will _fully instruct Ages_ YET UNBORN, what
     Rights belong to them, and the best Methods of defending them.

     To Merit far less distinguished, ancient _Greece_ or _Rome_
     would have decreed Statues and Honours without Number: But it is
     _Your Fortune_ and _your Glory_, Sir, that You live in _such_
     Times, and possess _such exalted Worth_, that the _Envy_ of
     those, whose _Duty_ it is to applaud You, can conceive no other
     Consolation, than by withholding those Praises in Public, which
     all honest Men acknowledge in Private that you have deserved.

     We present to you, sir, a small gift of a Society not dignified
     by any legal authority; But when you consider this gift as
     expressive of the _sincere Affection_ of many of your Fellow
     Citizens for Your Person, and of their _unlimited Approbation_
     of the noble Principles maintained in your unequalled Labours,
     we hope this Testimony of our Sentiments will be acceptable to
     you.

     May that all-gracious Being, which in kindness to these colonies
     gave your valuable Life Existence _at the critical Period_ when
     it will be most wanted, grant it a long Continuance, filled with
     every Felicity; and when your Country sustains its dreadful
     loss, may you enjoy the Happiness of Heaven, and on Earth may
     your Memory be cherished, as we doubt not it will be, to the
     latest Posterity.

     _Signed by the Order of the Society_,
                           JOHN BAYARD, Secretary.

     The box was finely decorated, and the Inscription neatly done in
     Letters of Gold. On the Top was represented the Cap of Liberty
     on a Spear, resting on a Cypher of the Letters I. D. Underneath
     the Cypher in a semicircular Label----Pro Patria----Around the
     whole the following words:

     THE GIFT OF THE GOVERNOR AND SOCIETY OF FORT ST. DAVID'S TO THE
     AUTHOR OF THE FARMER'S LETTERS, IN GRATEFUL TESTIMONY OF THE
     VERY EMINENT SERVICES THEREBY RENDERED TO THIS COUNTRY, 1768.

     On the Inside of the Top--

          THE LIBERTIES OF
  THE BRITISH COLONIES IN AMERICA
             ASSERTED
        WITH ATTIC ELOQUENCE,
         AND ROMAN SPIRIT,
                BY
      J-N D-K-NS-N[6] ESQR.;
         BARRISTER AT LAW.

    [6] The Name at length.

     On the Inside of the Bottom--

         ITA CUIQUE EVENIAT
      UT DE REPUBLICA MERUIT.

  On the Outside of the Bottom--A sketch of
  _Fort St. David's_.

     _To which the following Answer was returned._

  GENTLEMEN,

     I very gratefully receive the Favour you have been pleased to
     bestow upon me, in admitting me a Member of your Company; and I
     return you my heartiest Thanks for your Kindness.

     The "Esteem" of worthy Fellow Citizens is a Treasure of greatest
     Price; and as no man can more highly value it than I do, Your
     Society in "expressing the Affection" of so many respectable
     Persons for me, affords Me the sincerest Pleasure.

     Nor will this Pleasure be lessened by reflecting, that you
     may have regarded with a generous _Partiality_ my Attempts to
     promote the Welfare of our Country; for the Warmth of your
     Praises in commending a Conduct you _suppose_ to deserve them,
     gives Worth to these Praises, by proving _your_ Merit, while you
     attribute Merit to _another_.

     Your Characters, gentlemen, did not need this Evidence to
     convince Me, how much I ought to prize Your "Esteem" or how much
     You deserved _Mine_.

     I think myself extremely fortunate, in having obtained your
     favorable Opinion, which I shall constantly and carefully
     endeavor to preserve.

     I most heartily wish you every Kind of Happiness, and
     particularly that you may enjoy the comfortable Prospect of
     transmitting to your Posterity those "Liberties" dearer to You
     than your Lives, "which God gave to you, and which no _inferior
     Power_ has a Right to take away."

[Illustration: CHELSEA DERBY PORCELAIN STATUETTE OF CATHERINE
MACAULAY]

The potter's art, which from time immemorial has been the means of
transmitting history, furnishes the other illustration and also
perpetuates the estimate of Dickinson's character held by William
Duesbury, England's greatest manufacturer of porcelain. It pictures
a porcelain statuette of Mrs. Catherine Macaulay, a well-known
historian, whose "History of England from the Accession of James the
First to that of the Brunswick Line" and other historical writings
met with great approval among the Whig party in England and whose
decided approval of the stand taken by the colonies, gave her great
popularity in America. This statuette, measuring 13½ inches in
height, is modeled to a certain extent after the statue of this lady
which was erected in 1777 in the Church of St. Stephen, Walbrook,
London. Mrs. Macaulay appears leaning upon her "Histories of
England," which rest on the top of a pedestal, on the front of which
is the inscription, "Government a Power Delegated for the Happiness
of Mankind conducted by Wisdom, Justice and Mercy." Beneath are
the words, "_American Congress_." On the side of the pedestal the
name of _Dickinson_ appears, preceded by the names of those noble
writers, England's great advocates and expounders of Constitutional
liberty, Sydney, Hampden, Milton, Locke, Harrington, Ludlow and
Marvel. This beautiful porcelain statuette was moulded at the
Chelsea factory in 1777, the same year in which Boswell chronicles
Dr. Johnson's visit there, noting, "The china was beautiful, but Dr.
Johnson justly observed it was too dear, for he could have vessels
of silver as cheap as were here made of porcelain."

The space at my disposal prevents my quoting many a "Letter to the
Printer" appealing for justice for the Colonials as well as numerous
contributed articles which appeared during the next few years in
the English press, the contents of which clearly show how strongly
Dickinson's arguments had influenced their respective authors.
While it is true that these sentiments were attacked both at home
and abroad, the attacks soon lost their vehemence. Strange as it
may seem, more protests against the course of the ministry than
denunciations of the doings of the colonial Assemblies are found in
the columns of the English press of the period. The demand for the
arguments contained in the "Farmer's Letters" was not lessened by
subsequent events as their popularity demanded the publishing of
another London edition in 1774.

Certainly to John Dickinson for his masterly defence of the rights
of the Colonies America owes an everlasting debt of gratitude.
The logic of his claims and his warnings as to what must be the
ultimate result of the ministerial encroachments upon the liberties
of Englishmen did much to win over to the American cause in England
that strong ally, the support of a large body of thoughtful
Englishmen. These men actively condemned the ministerial actions and
during the war which followed caused the course of the government
to be bitterly opposed by an influential and constantly growing
minority in Parliament. Through their efforts was fostered a public
sentiment which caused the war to be prosecuted in a half-hearted
manner and obliged a power-loving King to fill the depleted ranks
of his army with German mercenaries, so impossible was it to force
a sufficient number of his own liberty-loving subjects to fight
against their kindred living in the land so happily alluded to by
a contributor to the London "Chronicle" (June 3-6, 1769), in the
following poem:


_The Genius of_ America _to her Sons_

    Who'd know the sweets of Liberty?
    'Tis to climbe the mountain's brow,
    Thence to discern rough industry,
    At the harrow or the plough;
    'Tis where my sons their crops have sown,
    Calling the harvest all their own;
    'Tis where the heart to truth allied,
    Never felt unmanly fear;
    'Tis where the eye with milder pride,
    Nobly sheds sweet pity's tear;
    Such as America yet shall see,
    These are the sweets of Liberty.



NOTES.


I.

An address from the Moderator and Freemen of the Town of Providence
in the Colony of Rhode-Island, and Providence Plantation convened in
open Meeting the 20th day of June, 1768, to the Author of a Series
of Letters signed

                                           A FARMER.

     _Sir_,

     In your Retirement, "near the Banks of the River Delaware,"
     where you are compleating, in a rational way, the Number of Days
     allotted to you by Divine Goodness, the consciousness of having
     employed those Talents which God hath bestowed upon You, for the
     Support of our Rights, must afford you a Satisfaction vastly
     exceeding that, which is derived to you from the universal
     Approbation of Your Letters,--However amidst the general
     Acclamation of your Praise, we the Moderator and Freemen of the
     ancient Town of Providence cannot be silent; although we would
     not offend your Delicacy, or incur the Imputation of Flattery in
     expressing our Gratitude to you.

     Your Benevolence to Mankind, fully discoverable from your
     Writings, doubtless caused you to address your countrymen, whom
     you tenderly call _Dear_ and _Beloved_, in a Series of Letters,
     wherein you have with a great Judgment, and in the most spirited
     and forcible Manner explained their Rights and Privileges; and
     vindicated them against such as would reduce these extensive
     Dominions of His Majesty to Poverty, Misery, and Slavery. This
     Your patriotic Exertion in our Cause and indeed in the Cause of
     all the human Race in some Degree, hath rendered you very dear
     to us, although we know not your Person.

     We deplore the Frailty of human Nature, in that it is necessary
     that we should be frequently awakened into Attention to our
     Duty in Matters very plain and incontrovertible, if we would
     suffer ourselves to consider them. From this Inattention to
     Things evidently the Duty and Interest of the World, we suppose
     despotic Rule to have originated, and all the Train of Miseries
     consequent thereupon.

     The virtuous and good Man, who rouses an injured Country from
     their Lethargy, and animates them into active and successful
     Endeavours for casting off the Burdens imposed on them, and
     effecting a full Enjoyment of the Rights of Men, which no Human
     Creature ought to violate, will merit the warmest Expressions of
     Gratitude from his Countrymen, for his Instrumentality in saving
     them and their Posterity.

     As the very Design of instituting civil Government in the World
     was to secure to Individuals a quiet Enjoyment of their native
     Rights, wherever there is a Departure from this great and only
     End, impious Force succeeds. The Blessings of a just Government,
     and the Horror of brutal Violence are both inexpressible. As
     the latter is generally brought upon People by Degrees, it will
     be their Duty to watch against even the smallest attempt to
     "innovate a single Iota" in their Privilege.

     With Hearts truly loyal to the King, we feel the greatest
     concern at divers Acts of the British Parliament, relative to
     these colonies. We are clear and unanimous in Sentiment that
     they are subversive of our Liberties, and derogatory to the
     Power and Dignity of the several Legislatures established in
     America.

     Permit us, Sir, to assure you that we feel an ineffable
     Gratitude to you, for sending forth your Letters at a Time when
     the Exercise of great Abilities was necessary. We sincerely wish
     that You may see the Fruit of your Labours. We on our parts
     shall be ready at all Times to evince to the World that we will
     not surrender our privileges to any of our Fellow Subjects, but
     will earnestly contend for them, hoping that the "Almighty will
     look upon our righteous contest with gracious approbation." We
     hope that the Conduct of the Colonies on this Occasion will be
     "peaceable, prudent, firm, and joint; and such as will show
     their Loyalty to the best of Sovereigns, and that they know what
     they owe to themselves as well as to Great-Britain."

     Signed by Order

                           JAMES ANGELL, Town Clerk.


II.

FROM THE MONTHLY REVIEW. LONDON, JULY, 1768.

"_Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, to the Inhabitants of the
British Colonies. 8vo. 2s. Almon. 1768._

"We have, in the Letters now before us, a calm yet full inquiry into
the right of the British parliament, lately assumed, to tax the
American colonies; the unconstitutional nature of which attempt is
maintained in a well-connected chain of close and manly reasoning;
and though from this character, it is evident that detached
passages must appear to a disadvantage, yet it is but just to
give our Readers some specimens of the manner in which the author
asserts the rights of his American brethren; subjects of the British
government, as he pleads, carrying their birthrights with them
wherever they settle as such.

     'Colonies, says he, were formerly planted by warlike nations,
     to keep their enemies in awe; to relieve their country
     overburthened with inhabitants; or to discharge a number of
     discontented and troublesome citizens. But in more modern ages,
     the spirit of violence being, in some measure, if the expression
     may be allowed, sheathed in commerce, colonies have been settled
     by the nations of Europe for the purposes of trade. These
     purposes were to be attained, by the colonies raising for their
     mother country those things which she did not produce herself;
     and by supplying themselves from her with things they wanted.
     These were the _national_ objects in the commencement of our
     colonies, and have been uniformly so in their promotion.

     'To answer these grand purposes, perfect liberty was known to
     be necessary; all history proving, that trade and freedom are
     nearly related to each other. By a due regard to this wise and
     just plan, the infant colonies, exposed in the unknown climates
     and unexplored wildernesses of this new world, lived, grew, and
     flourished.

     'The parent country, with undeviating prudence and virtue,
     attentive to the first principles of colonization, drew to
     herself the benefits she might reasonably expect, and preserved
     to her children the blessings, upon which those benefits were
     founded. She made laws, obliging her colonies to carry to her
     all those products which she wanted for her own use; and all
     those raw materials which she chose herself to work up. Besides
     this restriction, she forbade them to procure _manufactures_
     from any other part of the globe, or even the _products_ of
     _European_ countries, which alone could rival her, without
     being first brought to her. In short, by a variety of laws,
     she regulated their trade in such a manner as she thought most
     conducive to their mutual advantage and her own welfare. A power
     was reserved to the crown of _repealing_ any laws that should be
     enacted: the executive authority of government was also lodged
     in the crown, and its representatives; and an _appeal_ was
     secured to the crown from all judgments in the administration of
     justice.

     'For all these powers, established by the mother country over
     the colonies; for all these immense emoluments derived by her
     from them; for all their difficulties and distresses in fixing
     themselves, what was the recompense made them? A communication
     of her rights in general, and particularly of that great one,
     the foundation of all the rest--that their property, acquired
     with so much pain and hazard, should be disposed of by none
     but themselves--or, to use beautiful and emphatic language of
     the sacred scriptures, "that they should sit _every man_ under
     his vine, and under his fig-tree, and _none should make them
     afraid_."

     'Can any man of candour and knowledge deny that these
     institutions form an affinity between Great Britain and her
     colonies, that sufficiently secures their dependence upon her?
     Or that for her to levy taxes upon them is to reverse the
     nature of things? Or that she can pursue such a measure without
     reducing them to a state of vassalage?

     'If any person cannot conceive the supremacy of Great Britain
     to exist, without the power of laying taxes to levy money upon
     us, the history of the colonies, and of Great Britain, since
     their settlement, will prove the contrary. He will there find
     the amazing advantages arising to her from them--the constant
     exercise of her supremacy--and their filial submission to it,
     without a single rebellion, or even the thought of one, from
     their first emigration to this moment--and all these things have
     happened, without one instance of Great Britain's laying taxes
     to levy money upon them.

     'How many British authors have demonstrated, that the present
     wealth, power and glory of their country, are founded upon
     these colonies? As constantly as streams tend to the ocean have
     they been pouring the fruits of all their labours into their
     mother's lap. Good heaven! and shall a total oblivion of former
     tendernesses and blessings, be spread over the minds of a good
     and wise nation by the sordid arts of intriguing men, who,
     covering their selfish projects under pretences of public good,
     first enrage their countrymen into a frenzy of passion, and then
     advance their own influence and interest, by gratifying the
     passion, which they themselves have basely excited.

     'Hitherto Great Britain has been contented with her prosperity,
     moderation has been the rule of her conduct. But now, a
     generous, humane people, that so often have protected the
     liberty of _strangers_, is inflamed into an attempt to tear a
     privilege from her own children, which if executed, must, in
     their opinion, sink them into slaves: _and for what_? for a
     pernicious power, not necessary to her as her own experience may
     convince her; but horribly dreadful and detestable to her.

     'It seems extremely probable, that when cool, dispassionate
     prosperity, shall consider the affectionate intercourse, the
     reciprocal benefits, and the unsuspecting confidence, that have
     subsisted between these colonies and their parent country, for
     such a length of time, they will execrate, with the bitterest
     curses, the infamous memory of those men, whose pestilential
     ambition unnecessarily, wantonly, first opened the sources
     of civil discord between them; first turned their love into
     jealousy; and first taught these provinces, filled with grief
     and anxiety, to enquire.'

"As every community possessed of valuable privileges, and desirous
to preserve the enjoyment of them, ought to be very cautious of
admitting innovations from their established forms of political
administration, our Author does not confine his views to the
immediate effects of the laws lately passed regarding America; but
considers the necessary tendency of the precedents; thus he says,

     'I have looked over every _statute_ relating to these colonies,
     from their first settlement to this time; and I find everyone
     of them founded on this principle, till the _stamp-act_
     administration. _All before_, are calculated to regulate trade,
     and preserve or promote a mutually beneficial intercourse
     between the several constituent parts of the empire; and
     though many of them imposed duties on trade, yet those duties
     were always imposed _with design_ to restrain the commerce of
     one part, that was injurious to another, and thus to promote
     the general welfare. The raising a revenue thereby was never
     intended. Thus, the king by his judges in his courts of justice,
     impose fines, which altogether amount to a very considerable
     sum, and contribute to the support of government; but this is
     merely a consequence arising from restrictions, that only meant
     to keep peace, and prevent confusion; and surely a man would
     argue very loosely, who should conclude from hence, that the
     king has a right to levy money in general upon his subjects.
     Never did the British parliament, till the period above
     mentioned, think of imposing duties in America, _for the purpose
     of raising a revenue_. Mr. Grenville first introduced this
     language, in the preamble to the fourth of George III. chap. 15,
     which has these words--"and whereas it is just and necessary
     that _a revenue be raised in your majesty's said dominions in
     America, for defraying the expenses of defending, protecting
     and securing the same_: We your majesty's most dutiful and
     loyal subjects, _the commons of Great Britain_, in Parliament
     assembled, being desirous to make some provisions in this
     present session of parliament, _towards raising the said revenue
     in America_, have resolved to _give_ and _grant_ unto your
     majesty the several rates and duties hereinafter mentioned,"
     etc.

     'A few months after came the _stamp-act_, which reciting this,
     proceeds in the same strange mode of expression, thus--"And
     whereas it is just and necessary, that provision be made _for
     raising a further revenue within your majesty's dominions in
     America, towards defraying the said expenses_, we your majesty's
     most dutiful and loyal subjects, the _commons_ of _Great
     Britain, etc., give and grant_," etc., as before.

     'The last act, granting duties upon paper, etc., carefully
     pursues these modern precedents. The preamble is, "Whereas it is
     expedient, _that a revenue should be raised in your majesty's
     dominions in America for making a more certain and adequate
     provision for defraying the charge of the administration of
     justice, and the support of civil government in such provinces,
     where it shall be found necessary; and towards the further
     defraying of the expences of defending, protecting, and securing
     the said dominions_, we your majesty's most dutiful and loyal
     subjects, the _commons of Great Britain_, etc. give _and
     grant_," etc. as before.

     'Here we may observe an authority expresly claimed and exerted
     to impose duties on these colonies; not for the regulation of
     trade; not for the preservation or promotion of a mutually
     beneficial intercourse between the several constituent parts
     of the empire, heretofore the _sole objects_ of parliamentary
     institutions; _but for the single purpose of levying money upon
     us_.'

"Again in another place,

     'What but the indisputable, the acknowledged exclusive right
     of the colonies to tax themselves, could be the reason, that
     in this long period of more than one hundred and fifty years,
     no statute was ever passed for the sole purpose of raising a
     revenue from the colonies? And how clear, how cogent must that
     reason be, to which every parliament, and every ministry for so
     long a time submitted, without a single attempt to innovate?

     'England, in part of that course of years, and Great Britain,
     in other parts, was engaged in several fierce and expensive
     wars; troubled with some tumultuous and bold parliaments;
     governed by many daring and wicked ministers; yet none of them
     ever ventured to touch the Palladium of American liberty.
     Ambition, avarice, faction, tyranny, all revered it. Whenever it
     was necessary to raise money on the colonies, the requisitions
     of the crown were made, and dutifully complied with. The
     parliament, from time to time, regulated their trade, and that
     of the rest of the empire, to preserve their dependence and the
     connections of the whole in good order.'

"The amount of present duties exacted in an unusual way is no part
of the object in question; for our Pennsylvanian Farmer observes:

     'Some persons may think this act of no consequence, because
     the duties are so _small_. A fatal error. _That_ is the very
     circumstance most alarming to me. For I am convinced, that the
     authors of this law would never have obtained an act to raise
     so trifling a sum as it must do, had they not intended by it to
     establish a _precedent_ for future use. To console ourselves
     with the _smallness_ of the duties, is to walk deliberately into
     the snare that is set for us, praising the _neatness_ of the
     workmanship. Suppose the duties imposed by the late act could
     be paid by these distressed colonies with the utmost ease, and
     that the purposes to which they are to be applied, were the most
     reasonable and equitable that can be conceived, the contrary of
     which I hope to demonstrate before these letters are concluded;
     yet even in such a supposed case, these colonies ought to regard
     the act with abhorrence. For who are a free people? Not those,
     over whom government is reasonably and equitably exercised, but
     those, who live under a government so _constitutionally checked_
     and controuled, that proper provision is made against its being
     otherwise exercised.

     'The late act is founded on the destruction of this
     constitutional security. If the parliament have a right to lay
     a duty of four shillings and eight pence on a hundred weight
     of glass, or a ream of paper, they have a right to lay a duty
     of any other sum on either. They may raise the duty, as the
     author before quoted says has been done in some countries,
     till it "exceeds seventeen or eighteen times the value of the
     commodity." In short, if they have a right to levy a tax of
     _one penny_ upon us, they have a right to levy a _million_ upon
     us; for where does their right stop? At any given number of
     pence, shillings or pounds? To attempt to limit their right,
     after granting it to exist at all, is as contrary to reason--as
     granting it to exist at all, is contrary to justice. If they
     have any right to tax us--then, whether our own money shall
     continue in our pockets or not, depends no longer on _us_, but
     on _them_, "There is nothing which "we" can call our own; or,
     to use the words of Mr. Locke--_what property have "we" in that
     which another may, by right, take, when he pleases, to himself_?"

     'These duties which will inevitably be levied upon us--which are
     now levying upon us--are _expresly laid for the sole purpose of
     taking money_. This is the true definition of "taxes." They are
     therefore _taxes_. This money is to be taken from _us_. We are
     therefore _taxed_. _Those_ who are _taxed_ without their own
     consent, expressed by themselves or their representatives are
     _slaves_. _We are taxed_ without our own consent, expressed by
     ourselves or representatives. _We_ are therefore slaves.'

"Further,

     'Indeed nations in general are more apt to _feel_ than to
     _think_; and therefore nations in general have lost their
     liberty: for as the violation of the rights of the governed are
     commonly not only _specious_, but _small_ at the beginning,
     they spread over the multitude in such a manner, as to touch
     individuals but slightly; thus they are disregarded. The
     power or profit that arises from these violations, _centering
     in a few persons_, is to them considerable. For this reason,
     the _Governors_ having in view their particular purposes,
     successively preserve an uniformity of conduct for attaining
     them: they regularly increase and multiply the first injuries,
     till at length the inattentive people are compelled to perceive
     the heaviness of their burthen. They begin to complain
     and inquire--but too late. They find their oppressions so
     strengthened by success, and themselves so entangled in examples
     of express authority on the part of their rulers, and of tacit
     recognition on their own part, that they are quite confounded:
     for millions entertain no other idea of the _legality_ of power,
     than that it is founded on the exercise of power. They then
     voluntarily fasten their chains by adopting a pusillanimous
     opinion "that there will be too much danger in attempting a
     remedy"--or another opinion no less fatal, "that the government
     has a _right_ to treat them as it does." They then seek a
     wretched relief for their minds, by persuading themselves, that
     to yield their _obedience_, is to discharge their _duty_. The
     _deplorable_ poverty of spirit, that prostrates all the dignity
     bestowed by Divine Providence on our nature--of course succeeds.'

"With regard to the proper conduct of the colonies on this occasion
he premises the following questions:

     'Has not the parliament _expressly avowed_ their _intention_
     of raising money from us for _certain_ purposes? Is not this
     scheme _popular_ in Great Britain? Will the taxes imposed by
     the late act, _answer_ those purposes? If it will, must it
     not take an immense sum from us? If it will not, is it to be
     _expected_, that the parliament will not _fully execute_ their
     _intention_, when it is pleasing at home, _and not opposed_
     here? Must not this be done by imposing _new taxes_? Will not
     every addition thus made to our taxes, be an addition to the
     power of the British legislature, _by increasing the number of
     officers_ employed in the collection? Will not every additional
     tax therefore render it _more difficult_ to abrogate any of
     them? When a branch of revenue is once established, does it not
     appear to many people _invidious_ and undutiful, to attempt to
     abolish it? If taxes sufficient to _accomplish_ the intention of
     the parliament, are imposed by the parliament, what taxes will
     remain to be imposed by our assemblies? If _no material_ taxes
     remain to be imposed by them, what must become of _them_, and
     the people they represent?'

"Our Author all along, however, asserts that the real interest of
English America consists in its proper dependence on the mother
country, at the same time that he strenuously exhorts his countrymen
to oppose, by all the suitable means in their power, every
incroachment on those constitutions under the sanction of which they
settled on those remote and uncultivated shores, whereon they have
so industriously established themselves. He remarks with a spirit
which no one, it is apprehended, can condemn:

     'I am no further concerned in anything affecting America, than
     any one of you; and when liberty leaves it, I can quit it much
     more conveniently than most of you: but while divine providence,
     that gave me existence in a land of freedom, permits my head
     to think, my lips to speak, and my hands to move, I shall so
     highly and gratefully value the blessing received, as to take
     care, that my silence and inactivity shall not give my implied
     assent to any act, degrading my brethren and myself from the
     birthright, wherewith heaven itself "hath made us free.'

"The consequence of Great Britain exerting this disagreeable power,
he shews, in a long train of arguments, to have a tendency very
fatal to the liberty of America, which he illustrates by examining
into the application of the pensions on the Irish establishment;
and sums up his reasoning with the following positions:

     'Let these _truths_ be indelibly impressed on our mind--_that
     we cannot be_ happy, _without being_ free--that we cannot be
     free, _without being secure_--in our property--that we cannot
     be secure in our property, if, _without our consent, others
     may, as by right, take it away--that taxes imposed on us by
     parliament_, do thus take it away--that _duties laid for the
     sole purposes of raising money_, are taxes--that attempts to
     lay such duties _should be instantly and firmly opposed_--that
     this opposition can never be effectual, unless it is the united
     effort of those provinces--that therefore _benevolence of temper
     towards each other_, and _unanimity of counsels_, are essential
     to the welfare of the whole--and lastly, that for this reason,
     every man amongst us, who in any manner would encourage either
     dissention, diffidence, or indifference, between these colonies,
     is an enemy to _himself_, and to _his country_.

     'The belief of these truths, I verily think, my countrymen,
     is indispensably necessary to your happiness. I beseech you,
     therefore, "teach them diligently unto your children, and talk
     of them when you sit in your houses, and when you walk by the
     way, and when you lie down and when you rise up."

     '_What_ have these colonies to _ask_, while they continue
     free? or what have they to _dread_, but insidious attempts to
     subvert their freedom? _Their prosperity_ does not depend on
     _ministerial favours doled_ out to particular provinces. _They_
     form one political body, of which _each_ colony is a _member_.
     _Their happiness_ is founded on their constitution; and is to
     be promoted by preserving that constitution in unabated vigour,
     _throughout every part_. A spot, a speck of decay, however small
     the limb on which it appears, and however remote it may seem
     from the vitals, should be alarming. We have _all the rights_
     requisite for our prosperity. The _legal authority_ of Great
     Britain may indeed lay hard restrictions upon us; but, like the
     spear of Telephus, it will cure as well as wound. Her unkindness
     will instruct and compel us, after some time to discover, in
     our _industry_ and _frugality_, surprising remedies--_if our
     rights continue_ unviolated: for as long as the _products_ of
     our _labour_, and the _rewards_ of our _care_, can properly
     be called _our own_, so long will it be worth our while to be
     _industrious_ and _frugal_. But if we plow--sow--reap--gather
     and thresh--we find, that we plow--sow--reap--gather and thresh
     _for others_, whose pleasure is to be the SOLE limitation _how
     much_ they shall _take_ and _how much_ they _shall leave_, WHY
     should we repeat the unprofitable toil? Horses and oxen are
     content with _that portion of the fruits of their work_, which
     their _owners_ assign to them, in order to keep them strong
     enough to raise successive crops; but even _these beasts_ will
     not submit to draw for their masters, until they are _subdued_
     with _whips_ and _goads_. Let us take care of our rights, and we
     _therein_ take care of our _property_. "SLAVERY IS EVER PRECEDED
     BY SLEEP." _Individuals_ may be _dependent_ on ministers if
     they please. _States should scorn it_; and if _you_ are not
     wanting to yourselves, you will have a _proper regard_ paid
     _you_ by _those_, to whom if you are not _respectable_, you will
     infallibly be contemptible. But--_if we have already forgot_
     the _reasons_ that urged us, with unexampled unanimity, to
     exert ourselves two years ago--if _our zeal_ for the _public
     good_ is _worn out_ before the _homespun cloaths_ which it
     caused us to have made--if _our_ resolutions are so faint, as
     by our present conduct to _condemn_ our own late _successful_
     example--if _we are not affected_ by any reverence for the
     memory of our ancestors, who transmitted to us that freedom
     in which they had been blest--if _we are not animated_ by any
     regard for posterity, to whom, by the most sacred obligations,
     we are bound to deliver down the invaluable inheritance--THEN,
     indeed, any _minister_, or any _tool_ of a minister, or any
     _creature_ of a tool of a minister--or any _lower instrument_ of
     _administration_, if lower there be, is a _personage_ whom it
     may be dangerous to offend.'

"In justification of the Letter-writer's loyalty, and the integrity
of his intentions, he declares in a note:

     'If any person shall imagine that he discovers in these letters
     the least disaffection towards our most excellent sovereign, and
     the parliament of Great Britain, or the least dislike of the
     dependence of these colonies on that kingdom, I beg that such
     person will not form any judgment on _particular expressions_,
     but will consider the _tenour_ of all the letters taken
     together. In that case, I flatter myself that every unprejudiced
     reader will be _convinced_, that the true interests of Great
     Britain are as dear to me as they ought to be to every good
     subject.

     'If I am an enthusiast in anything, it is in my zeal for
     the _perpetual dependance_ of these colonies on the mother
     country.--A dependance founded on mutual benefits, the
     continuance of which can be secured only by _mutual affections_.
     Therefore it is, that with extreme apprehension I view the
     smallest seeds of discontent, which are unwarily scattered
     abroad. Fifty or sixty years will make astonishing alterations
     in these colonies; and this consideration should render it
     the business of Great Britain more and more to cultivate our
     good dispositions toward her: but the misfortune is, that
     those _great men_, who are wrestling for power at home, think
     themselves very slightly interested in the prosperity of their
     country _fifty_ or _sixty_ years hence; but are deeply concerned
     in blowing up a popular clamour for supposed _immediate
     advantages_.

     'For my part, I regard Great Britain as a _bulwark_ happily
     fixed between these colonies and the powerful nations of Europe.
     That kingdom is our advanced post or fortification, _which
     remaining safe_, we under its protection enjoying peace, may
     diffuse the blessings of religion, science, and liberty, through
     remote wildernesses. It is, therefore, incontestably our _duty_
     and our _interest_ to support the strength of Great Britain.
     When, confiding in that strength, she begins to forget from
     whence it arose, it will be an easy thing to shew the source.
     She may readily be reminded of the loud alarm spread among her
     merchants and tradesmen, by the universal association of these
     colonies, at the time of the _stamp-act_, not to import any of
     her MANUFACTURES. In the year 1718, the Russians and Swedes
     entered into an agreement, not to suffer Great Britain to export
     any naval stores from their dominions, but in Russian or Swedish
     ships, and at their own prices. Great Britain was distressed.
     _Pitch_ and _tar_ rose to _three pounds_ a barrel. At length
     she thought of getting these articles from the colonies; and
     the attempt succeeding, they fell down to fifteen shillings. In
     the year 1756, Great Britain was threatened with an invasion:
     An easterly wind blowing for six weeks, she could not MAN
     her fleet; and the whole nation was thrown into the utmost
     consternation. The wind changed. The American ships arrived.
     The fleet sailed in ten or fifteen days. There are some other
     reflections on this subject worthy of the most deliberate
     attention of the British parliament; but they are of such a
     nature that I do not chuse to mention them publicly. I thought
     I discharged my duty to my country, by taking the liberty, in
     the year 1765, while the _stamp-act_ was in suspence, of writing
     my sentiments to a man of the greatest influence at home, who
     afterwards distinguished himself by espousing our cause in the
     debates concerning the repeal of that act.'

"When we review a performance well written, and founded upon
laudable principles, if we do not restrain ourselves to a general
approbation, which may be given in few words, the article will
unavoidably contain more from the author of it, than from ourselves;
this, if any excuse is needful for enabling our Readers, in some
measure, to judge for themselves, is pleaded as an apology for our
copious extracts from these excellent letters. To conclude; if
_reason_ is to decide between us and our colonies, in the affairs
here controverted, our Author, whose name the advertisements inform
us is Dickenson,[7] will not perhaps easily meet with a satisfactory
refutation."

    [7] Of Pennsylvania. See his dispute with Mr. Galloway, Review,
    vol.
xxxii. p. 67.



LETTERS

FROM

A FARMER.



  LETTERS

  FROM

  A FARMER in _Pennsylvania_,

  To the INHABITANTS

  OF THE

  BRITISH COLONIES.


  BOSTON:

  PRINTED BY MEIN AND FLEEMING, AND TO
  BE SOLD BY JOHN MEIN, AT THE
  LONDON BOOK-STORE, NORTH-SIDE
  OF KING-STREET.
  M DCC LXVIII.



LETTERS

FROM

A FARMER.



LETTER I.


_My Dear Countrymen_,

I am a farmer, settled after a variety of fortunes, near the banks,
of the river _Delaware_, in the province of _Pennsylvania_. I
received a liberal education, and have been engaged in the busy
scenes of life: But am now convinced, that a man may be as happy
without bustle, as with it. My farm is small, my servants are few,
and good; I have a little money at interest; I wish for no more: my
employment in my own affairs is easy; and with a contented grateful
mind, I am compleating the number of days allotted to me by divine
goodness.

Being master of my time, I spend a good deal of it in a library,
which I think the most valuable part of my small estate; and being
acquainted with two or three gentlemen of abilities and learning,
who honour me with their friendship, I believe I have acquired a
greater share of knowledge in history, and the laws and constitution
of my country, than is generally attained by men of my class, many
of them not being so fortunate as I have been in the opportunities
of getting information.

From infancy I was taught to love humanity and liberty. Inquiry and
experience have since confirmed my reverence for the lessons then
given me, by convincing me more fully of their truth and excellence.
Benevolence towards mankind excites wishes for their welfare, and
such wishes endear the means of fulfilling them. Those can be
found in liberty alone, and therefore her sacred cause ought to
be espoused by every man, on every occasion, to the utmost of his
power: as a charitable but poor person does not withhold his _mite_,
because he cannot relieve _all_ the distresses of the miserable,
so let not any honest man suppress his sentiments concerning
freedom, however small their influence is likely to be. Perhaps he
may "[8]touch some wheel" that will have an effect greater than he
expects.

    [8] POPE.

These being my sentiments, I am encouraged to offer to you, my
countrymen, my thoughts on some late transactions, that in my
opinion are of the utmost importance to you. Conscious of my
defects, I have waited some time, in expectation of seeing the
subject treated by persons much better qualified for the task; but
being therein disappointed, and apprehensive that longer delays will
be injurious, I venture at length to request the attention of the
public, praying only for one thing,--that is that these lines may be
_read_ with the same zeal for the happiness of British America, with
which they were _wrote_.

With a good deal of surprise I have observed, that little notice has
been taken of an act of parliament, as injurious in its principle to
the liberties of these colonies, as the STAMP-ACT was: I mean the
act for suspending the legislation of New-York.

The assembly of that government complied with a former act of
parliament, requiring certain provisions to be made for the troops
in America, in every particular, I think, except the articles of
salt, pepper, and vinegar. In my opinion they acted imprudently,
considering all circumstances, in not complying so far, as would
have given satisfaction, as several colonies did: but my dislike of
their conduct in that instance, has not blinded me so much, that I
cannot plainly perceive, that they have been punished in a manner
pernicious to American freedom, and justly alarming to all the
colonies.

If the BRITISH PARLIAMENT has a legal authority to order, that we
shall furnish a single article for the troops here, and to compel
obedience to that order; they have the same right to order us to
supply those troops with arms, cloaths, and every necessary, and to
compel obedience to that order also; in short, to lay _any burdens_
they please upon us. What is this but _taxing_ us at a _certain
sum_, and leaving to us only the _manner_ of raising it? How is this
mode more tolerable than the STAMP ACT? Would that act have appeared
more pleasing to AMERICANS, if being ordered thereby to raise the
sum total of the taxes, the mighty privilege had been left to them,
of saying how much should be paid for an instrument of writing on
paper, and how much for another on parchment?

An act of parliament commanding us to do a certain thing, if it
has any validity, is a tax upon us for the expence that accrues in
complying with it, and for this reason, I believe, every colony
on the continent, that chose to give a mark of their respect for
GREAT-BRITAIN, in complying with the act relating to the troops,
cautiously avoided the mention of that act, lest their conduct
should be attributed to its supposed obligation.

The matter being thus stated, the assembly of _New-York_ either
had, or had not a right to refuse submission to that act. If
they had, and I imagine no AMERICAN will say, they had not, then
the parliament had no _right_ to compel them to execute it.--If
they had not _that right_, they had _no right_ to punish them for
not executing it; and therefore had _no right_ to suspend their
legislation, which is a punishment. In fact, if the people of
_New-York_ cannot be legally taxed but by their own representatives,
they cannot be legally deprived of the privileges of making laws,
only for insisting on that exclusive privilege of taxation. If
they may be legally deprived in such a case of the privilege of
making laws, why may they not, with equal reason, be deprived of
every other privilege? Or why may not every colony be treated in
the same manner, when any of them shall dare to deny their assent
to any impositions that shall be directed? Or what signifies the
repeal of the STAMP-ACT, if these colonies are to lose their _other_
privileges, by not tamely surrendering that of _taxation_?

There is one consideration arising from this suspicion, which is
not generally attended to, but shews its importance very clearly.
It was not _necessary_ that this suspension should be caused by an
act of parliament. The crown might have restrained the governor
of _New-York_, even from calling the assembly together, by its
prerogative in the royal governments. This step, I suppose, would
have been taken, if the conduct of the assembly of _New-York_,
had been regarded as an act of disobedience _to the crown alone_:
but it is regarded as an act of "disobedience to the authority of
the BRITISH LEGISLATURE." This gives the suspension a consequence
vastly more affecting. It is a parliamentary assertion of the
_supreme authority_ of the _British legislature_ over these colonies
in _the part of taxation_; and is intended to COMPEL _New-York_
unto a submission to that authority. It seems therefore to me as
much a violation of the liberty of the people of that province,
and consequently of all these colonies, as if the parliament had
sent a number of regiments to be quartered upon them till they
should comply. For it is evident, that the suspension is meant as a
compulsion; and the _method_ of compelling is totally indifferent.
It is indeed probable, that the sight of red coats, and the beating
of drums would have been most alarming, because people are generally
more influenced by their eyes and ears than by their reason: But
whoever seriously considers the matter, must perceive, that a
dreadful stroke is aimed at the liberty of these colonies: For
the cause of _one_ is the cause of _all_. If the parliament may
lawfully deprive _New-York_ of any of its rights, it may deprive
any, or all the other colonies of their rights; and nothing can
possibly so much encourage such attempts, as a mutual inattention
to the interest of each other. _To divide, and thus to destroy_,
is the first political maxim in attacking those who are powerful by
their union. He certainly is not a wise man, who folds his arms and
reposeth himself at home, seeing with unconcern the flames that have
invaded his neighbour's house, without any endeavours to extinguish
them. When Mr. _Hampden's_ ship-money cause, for three shillings and
four-pence, was tried, all the people of _England_, with anxious
expectation, interested themselves in the important decision; and
when the slightest point touching the freedom of a single colony is
agitated, I earnestly wish, that all the rest may with equal ardour
support their sister. Very much may be said on this subject, but I
hope, more at present is unnecessary.

With concern I have observed that two assemblies of this province
have sat and adjourned, without taking any notice of this act. It
may perhaps be asked, what would have been proper for them to do? I
am by no means fond of inflammatory measures. I detest them.----I
should be sorry that any thing should be done which might justly
displease our sovereign or our mother-country. But a firm, modest
exertion of a free spirit, should never be wanting on public
occasions. It appears to me, that it would have been sufficient for
the assembly, to have ordered our agents to represent to the King's
ministers, their sense of the suspending act, and to pray for its
repeal. Thus we should have borne our testimony against it; and
might therefore reasonably expect that on a like occasion, we might
receive the same assistance from the other colonies.

    "_Concordia res parvæ crescunt._"
      Small things grow great by concord.--

                                           A FARMER.



LETTER II.


_Beloved Countrymen_,

There is another late act of parliament, which seems to me to be as
destructive to the liberty of these colonies, as that inserted in
my last letter; that is, the act for granting the duties on paper,
glass, &c. It appears to me to be unconstitutional.

The parliament unquestionably possesses a legal authority to
_regulate_ the trade of _Great-Britain_, and all its colonies.
Such an authority is essential to the relation between a mother
country and its colonies; and necessary for the common good of
all. He, who considers these provinces as states distinct from the
_British Empire_, has very slender notions of _justice_ or of _their
interests_. We are but parts of _a whole_; and therefore there must
exist a power somewhere, to preside, and preserve the connection in
due order. This power is lodged in the parliament; and we are as
much dependant on _Great-Britain_, as a perfectly free people can be
on another.

I have looked over every _statute_ relating to these colonies, from
their first settlement to this time; and I find every one of them
founded on this principle, till the STAMP-ACT administration[9].
_All before_ are calculated to preserve or promote a mutually
beneficial intercourse between the several constituent parts of the
empire; and though many of them imposed duties on trade, yet those
duties were always imposed _with design_ to restrain the commerce
of one part, that was injurious to another, and thus to promote
the general welfare. The raising a revenue thereby was never
intended. Thus, the king by his judges in his courts of justice,
imposes fines, which all together amount to a considerable sum,
and contribute to the support of government: but this is merely
a consequence arising from restrictions, which only meant to
keep peace, and prevent confusion; and surely a man would argue
very loosely, who should conclude from hence, that the King has a
right to levy money in general upon his subjects; Never did the
_British parliament_, till the period abovementioned, think of
imposing duties in America FOR THE PURPOSE OF RAISING A REVENUE.
Mr. _Greenville's_ sagacity first introduced this language, in the
preamble to the 4th of Geo. III. Ch. 15, which has these words--"And
whereas it is just and necessary that a REVENUE BE RAISED IN YOUR
MAJESTY'S SAID DOMINIONS IN AMERICA, _for defraying the expences
of defending, protecting and securing the same_: We your Majesty's
most dutiful and loyal subjects, THE COMMONS OF GREAT BRITAIN, in
parliament assembled, being desirous to make some provision in the
present session of parliament, towards raising the said revenue
in America, have resolved to give and grant unto your Majesty the
several rates and duties herein after mentioned," &c.

    [9] For the satisfaction of the reader, recitals from former
    acts of parliament relating to these colonies are added. By
    comparing these with the modern acts, he will perceive their
    great difference in expression and intention.

    The 12th Cha. II Chap. 18, which forms the foundation of
    the laws relating to our trade, by enacting that certain
    productions of the colonies shall be carried to England only,
    and that no goods shall be imported from the plantations but
    in ships belonging to England, Ireland, Wales, Berwick, or the
    Plantations, &c. begins thus: "For the increase of shipping, and
    encouragement of the navigation of this nation, wherein, under
    the good providence and protection of God, the wealth, safety,
    and strength of this kingdom is so much concerned," &c.

    The 15th Cha. II. Chap. 7. enforcing the same regulation,
    assigns these reasons for it. "In regard to his Majesty's
    plantations, beyond the seas, are inhabited and peopled by his
    subjects of this his kingdom of England; for the maintaining a
    greater correspondence and kindness between them, and keeping
    them in a firmer dependence upon it, and rendering them yet more
    beneficial and advantageous unto it, in the further employment
    and increase of English shipping and seamen, vent of English
    woolen, and other manufactures and commodities, rendering the
    navigation to and from the same more safe and cheap, and making
    this kingdom a staple, not only of the commodities of those
    plantations, but also of the commodities of other countries and
    places for the supplying of them; and it being the usage of
    other nations to keep their plantations trade to themselves," &c.

    The 25th Cha. II. Chap. 7, made expressly "for the better
    securing the plantation trade," which imposes duties on certain
    commodities exported from one colony to another, mentions this
    last for imposing them: "Whereas by one act passed in the 12th
    year of your Majesty's reign, intitled, an act for encouragement
    of shipping and navigation, and by several other laws, passed
    since that time, it is permitted to ship, &c. sugars, tobacco,
    &c. of the growth, &c. of any of your Majesty's plantations in
    America &c. from the places of their growth, &c. to any other of
    your Majesty's plantations in those parts, &c. and that without
    paying of custom for the same, either at the lading or unlading
    the said commodities, by means whereof the trade and navigation
    in those commodities from one plantation to another is greatly
    encreased, and the inhabitants of divers of those colonies, not
    contenting themselves with being supplied with those commodities
    for their own use, free from all customs (while the subjects
    of this your kingdom of England have paid great customs and
    impositions for what of them hath been spent here) but, contrary
    to the express letter of the aforesaid laws, have brought into
    diverse parts of Europe great quantities thereof, and do also
    vend great quantities thereof to the shipping of other nations,
    who bring them into divers parts of Europe, to the great hurt
    and diminution of your Majesty's customs, and of the trade and
    navigation of this your kingdom; for the prevention thereof, &c."

    The 7th and 8th Will. III. Chap. 21, intitled, "An act for
    preventing frauds, and regulating abuses in the plantation
    trade," recites that, "notwithstanding diverse acts, &c. great
    abuses are daily committed, to the prejudice of the English
    navigation, and the loss of a great part of the plantation trade
    to this kingdom, by the artifice and cunning of ill disposed
    persons: for remedy whereof, &c. And whereas in some of his
    Majesty's American plantations, a doubt or misconstruction has
    arisen upon the before mentioned acts, made in the 25th year
    of the reign of Charles II. whereby certain duties are laid
    upon the commodities therein enumerated (which by law may be
    transported from one plantation to another, for the supplying of
    each others wants) as if the same were, by the payment of those
    duties in one plantation, discharged from giving the securities
    intended by the aforesaid acts, made in the 12th, 22d and 23d
    years of the reign of King Charles II. and consequently be at
    liberty to go to any foreign market in Europe," &c.

    The 6th Anne, Chap. 37, reciting the advancement of trade, &c.
    and encouragement of ships of war, &c. grants to the captors the
    property of all prizes carried into America, subject to such
    customs and duties, &c. as if the same had been first imported
    into any part of Great-Britain, and from thence exported, &c.

    This was a gift to persons acting under commissions from the
    crown, and therefore it was reasonable that the terms prescribed
    should be complied with----more especially as the payment of
    such duties was intended to give a preference to the productions
    of the British colonies, over those of other colonies. However,
    being found inconvenient to the colonies, about four years
    afterwards, this act was, for that reason, so far repealed,
    by another act "all prize goods, imported into any part of
    Great-Britain, from any of the plantations, were liable to such
    duties only in Great-Britain, as in case they had been of the
    growth and produce of the plantations," &c.

    The 6th Geo. II. Chap. 13, which imposes duties on foreign rum,
    sugar and molasses, imported into the colonies, shews the reason
    thus.--"Whereas the welfare and prosperity of your Majesty's
    sugar colonies in America, are of the greatest consequence
    and importance to the trade, navigation and strength of this
    kingdom; and whereas the planters of the said sugar colonies,
    have of late years fallen under such great discouragements that
    they are unable to improve or carry on the sugar trade, upon
    an equal footing with the foreign sugar colonies, without some
    advantage and relief be given to them from Great-Britain: For
    remedy whereof, and for the good and welfare of your Majesty's
    subjects," &c.

    The 29th Geo. II. Chap. 26. and the 1st Geo. III. Chap. 9, which
    contains 6th Geo. II. Chap. 13, declare, that the said act hath,
    by experience, been found useful and beneficial, &c. There are
    all the most considerable statutes relating to the commerce of
    the colonies; and it is thought to be utterly unnecessary to add
    any observations to these extracts, to prove that they were all
    intended solely as regulations of trade.

A few months after came the _Stamp-act_, which reciting this,
proceeds in the same strange mode of expression, thus--"And whereas
it is just and necessary, that provision be made FOR RAISING A
FURTHER REVENUE WITHIN YOUR MAJESTY'S DOMINIONS IN AMERICA, towards
defraying the said expences, we your Majesty's most dutiful and
loyal subjects, the COMMONS OF GREAT-BRITAIN, &c. GIVE and GRANT,"
&c. as before.

The last act, granting duties upon paper, &c. carefully pursues
these modern precedents. The preamble is, "Whereas it is expedient
that a revenue should be raised in your Majesty's dominions in
America, for making a more certain and adequate provision for the
defraying the charge of the administration of justice, and the
support of civil government in such provinces, where it shall be
found necessary; and towards the further defraying the expences
of defending, protecting and securing the said dominions, we
your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the COMMONS OF
GREAT-BRITAIN, &c. give and grant," &c. as before.

Here we may observe an authority _expressly_ claimed to impose
duties on these colonies; not for the regulation of trade; not for
the preservation or promotion of a mutually beneficial intercourse
between the several constituent parts of the empire, heretofore the
_sole objects_ of parliamentary institutions; _but for the single
purpose of levying money upon us_.

This I call an[10] innovation; and a most dangerous innovation.
It may perhaps be objected, that _Great-Britain_ has a right to
lay what duties she pleases upon her[11] exports, and it makes no
difference to us, whether they are paid here or there.

    [10] It is worthy observation how quickly subsidies, granted
    in forms usual and accustomable (tho' heavy) are borne;
    such a power hath use and custom. On the other side, what
    discontentment and disturbances subsidies formed on new moulds
    do raise (such an inbred hatred novelty doth hatch) is evident
    by examples of former times. Lord Coke's 2d institute, p. 33.

    [11] Some people, whose minds seem incapable of uniting two
    ideas, think that Great-Britain has the same right to impose
    duties on the exports to these colonies, as on those to Spain
    and Portugal, &c. Such persons attend so much to the idea of
    exportation, that they entirely drop that of the connection
    between the mother country and her colonies. If Great-Britain
    had always claimed, and exercised an authority to compel Spain
    and Portugal to import manufactures from her only, the cases
    would be parallel: But as she never pretended to such a right,
    they are at liberty to get them where they please; and if they
    chuse to take them from her, rather than from other nations,
    they voluntary consent to pay the duties imposed on them.

To this I answer. These colonies require many things for their use,
which the laws of _Great-Britain_ prohibit them from getting any
where but from her. Such are paper and glass.

That we may be legally bound to pay any _general_ duties on these
commodities, relative to the regulation of trade, is granted; but
we being _obliged by her laws_ to take them from Great Britain, any
_special_ duties imposed on their exportation _to us only, with
intention to raise a revenue from us only_, are as much _taxes_ upon
us, as those imposed by the _Stamp-act_.

What is the difference in _substance_ and _right_, whether the same
sum is raised upon us by the rates mentioned in the Stamp-act, on
the _use_ of the paper, or by these duties, on the _importation_ of
it. It is nothing but the edition of a former book, with a new title
page.

Suppose the duties were made payable in _Great-Britain_?

It signifies nothing to us, whether they are to be paid here or
there. Had the _Stamp-act_ directed, that all the paper should
be landed in _Florida_, and the duties paid there, before it was
brought to the _British Colonies_, would the act have raised less
money upon us, or have been less destructive of our rights? By no
means: For as we were under a necessity of using the paper, we
should have been under the necessity of paying the duties. Thus, in
the present case, a like _necessity_ will subject us, if this act
continues in force, to the payment of the duties now imposed.

Why was the _Stamp-act_ then so pernicious to freedom? It did
not enact, that every man in the colonies _should_ buy a certain
quantity of paper--No: It only directed, that no instrument of
writing should be valid in law, if not made on stamp paper, &c.

The makers of that act knew full well, that the confusions that
would arise upon the disuse of writings would COMPEL the colonies
to use the stamp paper, and therefore to pay the taxes imposed. For
this reason the _Stamp-act_ was said to be a law THAT WOULD EXECUTE
ITSELF. For the very same reason, the last act of parliament, if it
is granted to have any force here, will execute itself, and will be
attended with the very same consequences to _American Liberty_.

Some persons perhaps may say, that this act lays us under no
necessity to pay the duties imposed, because we may ourselves
manufacture the articles on which they are laid: whereas by the
Stamp-act no instrument of writing could be good, unless made on
British paper, and that too stampt.

Such an objection amounts to no more than this, that the injury
resulting to these colonies, from the total disuse of British
paper and glass, will not be _so afflicting_ as that which would
have resulted from the total disuse of writing among them; for by
that means even the stamp-act might have been eluded. Why then
was it universally detested by them as slavery itself? Because
it presented to these devoted provinces nothing but a choice of
calamities, imbittered by indignities, each of which it was unworthy
of freemen to bear. But is no injury a violation of right but the
_greatest_ injury? If the eluding the payment of the duties imposed
by the stamp-act, would have subjected us to a more dreadful
inconvenience, than the eluding the payment of those imposed by the
late act; does it therefore follow, that the last is no violation of
our rights, though it is calculated for the same purpose that the
other was, that is, _to raise money upon us_, WITHOUT OUR CONSENT?

This would be making _right_ to consist, not in an exemption from
_injury_, but from a certain _degree of injury_.

But the objectors may further say, that we shall sustain no injury
at all by the disuse of British paper and glass. We might not, if
we could make as much as we want. But can any man, acquainted with
America, believe this possible? I am told there are but two or three
_glass-houses_ on this continent, and but very few _paper-mills_;
and suppose more should be erected, a long course of years must
elapse, before they can be brought to perfection. This continent is
a country of planters, farmers, and fishermen; not of manufacturers.
The difficulty of establishing particular manufactures in such a
country, is almost insuperable, for one manufacture is connected
with others in such a manner, that it may be said to be impossible
to establish one or two, without establishing several others. The
experience of many nations may convince us of this truth.

Inexpressible therefore must be our distresses in evading the late
acts, by the disuse of British paper and glass. Nor will this be the
extent of our misfortunes, if we admit the legality of that act.

_Great-Britain_ has prohibited the manufacturing iron and steel
in these colonies, without any objection being made to her right
of doing it. The like right she must have to prohibit any other
manufacture among us. Thus she is possessed of an undisputed
_precedent_ on that point. This authority, she will say, is founded
on the _original intention_ of settling these colonies; that is,
that she should manufacture for them, and that they should supply
her with materials. The _equity_ of this policy, she will also say,
has been universally acknowledged by the colonies, who never have
made the least objection to statutes for that purpose; and will
further appear by the _mutual benefits_ flowing from this usage,
ever since the settlement of these colonies.

Our great advocate, Mr. PITT, in his speeches on the debate
concerning the repeal of the _Stamp-act_, acknowledged, that
Great-Britain could restrain our manufactures. His words are
these--"This kingdom, as the supreme governing and legislative
power, has _always_ bound the colonies by her regulations and
_restrictions_ in trade, in navigation, in _manufactures_----in
every thing, _except that of taking their money out of their
pockets_, WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT." Again he says, "We may bind
their trade, CONFINE THEIR MANUFACTURES, and exercise every power
whatever, except that of taking money out of their pockets, WITHOUT
THEIR CONSENT."

Here then, let my countrymen, ROUSE yourselves, and behold the ruin
hanging over their heads. If they ONCE admit, that Great-Britain
may lay duties upon her exportations to us, _for the purpose of
levying money on us only_, she then will have nothing to do, but
to lay those duties on the articles which she prohibits us to
manufacture--and the tragedy of American liberty is finished. We
have been prohibited from procuring manufactures, in all cases,
any where but from Great-Britain, (excepting linens, which we are
permitted to import directly from Ireland). We have been prohibited,
in some cases, from manufacturing for ourselves; We are therefore
exactly in the situation of a city besieged, which is surrounded by
the works of the besiegers in every part _but one_. If _that_ is
closed up, no step can be taken, _but to surrender at discretion_.
If Great-Britain can order us to come to her for necessaries we
want, and can order us to pay what taxes she pleases before we take
them away, or when we have them here, we are as abject slaves,
as France and Poland can shew in wooden shoes, and with uncombed
hair.[12]

    [12] The peasants of France wear wooden shoes; and the vassals
    of Poland are remarkable for matted hair, which never can be
    combed.

Perhaps the nature of the necessities of the dependant states,
caused by the policy of a governing one, for her own benefit, may be
elucidated by a fact mentioned in history. When the Carthaginians
were possessed of the island of Sardinia, they made a decree, that
the Sardinians should not get corn, any other way than from the
Carthaginians. Then, by imposing any duties they would, they drained
from the miserable Sardinians any sums they pleased; and whenever
that oppressed people made the least movement to assert their
liberty, their tyrants starved them to death or submission. This may
be called the most perfect kind of political necessity.

From what has been said, I think this uncontrovertible conclusion
may be deduced, that when a ruling state obliges a dependant state
to take certain commodities from her alone, it is implied in the
nature of that obligation; and is essentially requisite to give it
the least degree of justice; and is inseparably united with it, in
order to preserve any share of freedom to the dependant state; that
those commodities should never be loaded with duties for the sole
purpose of levying money on the dependant state.

The place of paying the duties imposed by the late act, appears
to me therefore to be totally immaterial. The single question is,
whether the parliament can legally impose duties to be paid _by
the people of these colonies only_ FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF RAISING
A REVENUE, _on commodities which she obliges us to take from her
alone_; or, in other words, whether the parliament can legally take
money out of our pockets, without our consent. If they can, our
boasted liberty is but

    _Vox et præterea nihil._
     A sound, and nothing else.

                                           A FARMER.



LETTER III.


_Beloved Countrymen_,

I rejoice to find, that my two former letters to you, have been
generally received with so much favour by such of you whose
sentiments I have had an opportunity of knowing. Could you look into
my heart, you would instantly perceive an ardent affection for your
persons, a zealous attachment to your interests, a lively resentment
of every insult and injury offered to your honour or happiness, and
an inflexible resolution to assert your rights, to the utmost of my
weak power, to be the only motives that have engaged me to address
you.

I am no further concerned in any thing affecting America, than any
one of you, and when liberty leaves it I can quit it much more
conveniently than most of you: but while divine providence, that
gave me existence in a land of freedom, permits my head to think, my
lips to speak, and my hand to move, I shall so highly and gratefully
value the blessing received, as to take care that my silence and
inactivity shall not give my implied assent to any act degrading my
brethren and myself from the birthright wherewith heaven itself
"_hath made us free_.[13]"

    [13] Gal. v. 1.

Sorry I am to learn, that there are some few persons, shake their
heads with solemn motion, and pretend to wonder what can be the
meaning of these letters. "Great-Britain, they say, is too powerful
to contend with; she is determined to oppress us; it is in vain
to speak of right on one side, when there is power on the other;
when we are strong enough to resist, we shall attempt it; but now
we are not strong enough, and therefore we had better be quiet; it
signifies nothing to convince us that our rights are invaded, when
we cannot defend them, and if we should get into riots and tumults
about the late act, it will only draw down heavier displeasure upon
us."

What can such men design? What do their grave observations amount
to, but this--"that these colonies, totally regardless of their
liberties, should commit them, with humble resignation, to _chance_,
_time_, and the tender mercies of _ministers_."

Are these men ignorant, that usurpations, which might have been
successfully opposed at first, acquire strength by continuance,
and thus become irresistible? Do they condemn the conduct of these
colonies, concerning the _Stamp-act_? Or have they forgot its
successful issue? Ought the colonies at that time, instead of
acting as they did, to have trusted for relief, to the fortuitous
events of futurity? If it is needless "to speak of rights" now, it
was as needless then. If the behaviour of the colonies was prudent
and glorious then, and successful too; it will be equally prudent
and glorious to act in the same manner now, if our rights are
equally invaded, and may be as successful. Therefore it becomes
necessary to enquire, whether "our rights _are_ invaded." To talk of
"defending" them, as if they could be no otherwise "defended" than
by arms, is as much out of the way, as if a man having a choice of
several roads to reach his journey's end, should prefer the worst,
for no other reason, than because it is the worst.

As to "riots and tumults," the gentlemen who are so apprehensive of
them, are much mistaken, if they think, that grievances cannot be
redressed without such assistance.

I will now tell the gentlemen, what is "the meaning of these
letters." The meaning of them is, to convince the people of
these colonies, that they are at this moment exposed to the most
imminent dangers; and to persuade them immediately, vigourously,
and unanimously, to exert themselves, in the most firm, but most
peaceable manner for obtaining relief.

The cause of liberty is a cause of too much dignity, to be sullied
by turbulence and tumult. It ought to be maintained in a manner
suitable to her nature. Those who engage in it, should breathe a
sedate, yet fervent spirit, animating them to actions of prudence,
justice, modesty, bravery, humanity, and magnanimity.

To such a wonderful degree were the antient _Spartans_, as brave and
as free a people as ever existed, inspired by this happy temperature
of soul, that rejecting even in their battles the use of trumpets,
and other instruments for exciting heat and rage, they marched up
to scenes of havock and horror, with the sound of flutes, to the
tunes of which their steps kept pace--"exhibiting, as _Plutarch_
says, at once a terrible and delightful sight, and proceeding with
a deliberate valour, full of hope and good assurance, as if some
divinity had insensibly assisted them."

I hope, my dear countrymen, that you will in every colony be upon
your guard against those who may at any time endeavour to stir you
up, under pretences of patriotism, to any measures disrespectful
to our sovereign and our mother country. Hot, rash, disorderly
proceedings, injure the reputation of a people as to wisdom, valour
and virtue, without procuring them the least benefit. I pray God,
that he may be pleased to inspire you and your posterity to the
latest ages with that spirit, of which I have an idea, but find a
difficulty to express: to express in the best manner I can, I mean
a spirit that shall so guide you, that it will be impossible to
determine, whether an _American_'s character is most distinguishable
for his loyalty to his sovereign, his duty to his mother country,
his love of freedom, or his affection for his native soil.

Every government, at some time or other, falls into wrong measures;
these may proceed from mistake or passion.----But every such measure
does not dissolve the obligation between the governors and the
governed; the mistake may be corrected; the passion may pass over.

It is the duty of the governed, to endeavour to rectify the mistake,
and appease the passion. They have not at first any other right,
than to represent their grievances, and to pray for redress, unless
an emergency is so pressing, as not to allow time for receiving
an answer to their applications which rarely happens. If their
applications are disregarded, then that kind of opposition becomes
justifiable, which can be made without breaking the laws, or
disturbing the public peace. This consists in the prevention of the
oppressors reaping advantage from their oppressions, and not in
their punishment. For experience may teach them what reason did not;
and harsh methods, cannot be proper, till milder ones have failed.

If at length it becomes undoubted, that an inveterate resolution is
formed to annihilate the liberties of the governed, the English
history affords frequent examples of resistance by force. What
particular circumstances will in any future case justify such
resistance, can never be ascertained till they happen. Perhaps
it may be allowable to say, generally, that it never can be
justifiable, until the people are FULLY CONVINCED, that any further
submission will be destructive to their happiness.

When the appeal is made to the sword, highly probable it is, that
the punishment will exceed the offence; and the calamities attending
on war out weigh those preceding it. These considerations of justice
and prudence, will always have great influence with good and wise
men.

To these reflections on this subject, it remains to be added,
and ought for ever to be remembred; that resistance in the case
of colonies against their mother country, is extremely different
from the resistance of a people against their prince. A nation may
change their King or race of Kings, and retain their antient form
of government, be gainers by changing. Thus Great-Britain, under
the illustrious house of Brunswick, a house that seems to flourish
for the happiness of mankind, has found a felicity, unknown in the
reigns of the Stuarts. But if once we are separated from our mother
country, what new form of government shall we accept, or when shall
we find another Britain to supply our loss? Torn from the body
to which we are united by religion, liberty, laws, affections,
relations, language, and commerce, we must bleed at every vein.

In truth, the prosperity of these provinces is founded in their
dependance on Great-Britain; and when she returns to "her old good
humour, and old good nature," as Lord Clerendon expresses it, I
hope they will always esteem it their duty and interest, as it most
certainly will be, to promote her welfare by all the means in their
power.

We cannot act with too much caution in our disputes. Anger produces
anger; and differences that might be accommodated by kind and
respectful behaviour, may by imprudence be changed to an incurable
rage.

In quarrels between countries, as well as in those between
individuals, when they have risen to a certain heighth, the first
cause of dissention is no longer remembred, the minds of the parties
being wholly engaged in recollecting and resenting the mutual
expressions of their dislike. When feuds have reached that fatal
point, all considerations of reason and equity vanish; and a blind
fury governs, or rather confounds all things. A people no longer
regards their interest, but the gratification of their wrath. The
sway of the Cleon's,[14] and Clodius's, the designing and detestable
flatters of the prevailing passion, becomes confirmed.

    [14] Cleon was a popular firebrand of Athens and Clodius
    of Rome; each of them plunged his country into the deepest
    calamities.

Wise and good men in vain oppose the storm, and may think themselves
fortunate, if, endeavouring to preserve their ungrateful fellow
citizens, they do not ruin themselves. Their prudence will be called
baseness; their moderation, guilt; and if their virtue does not
lead them to destruction, as that of many other great and excellent
persons has done, they may survive, to receive from their expiring
country, the mournful glory of her acknowledgment, that their
councils, if regarded, would have saved her.

The constitutional modes of obtaining relief, are those which I
would wish to see pursued on the present occasion, that is, by
petitioning of our assemblies, or, where they are not permitted to
meet, of the people to the powers that can afford us relief.

We have an excellent prince, in whose good dispositions towards us
we may confide. We have a generous, sensible, and humane nation, to
whom we may apply. They may be deceived: they may, by artful men,
be provoked to anger against us; but I cannot yet believe they will
be cruel or unjust; or that their anger will be implacable. Let us
behave like dutiful children, who have received unmerited blows
from a beloved parent. Let us complain to our parents; but let our
complaints speak at the same time, the language of affliction and
veneration.

If, however, it shall happen by an unfortunate course of affairs,
that our applications to his Majesty and the parliament for the
redress, prove ineffectual, let us then take another step, by
withholding from Great-Britain, all the advantages she has been used
to receive from us. Then let us try, if our ingenuity, industry,
and frugality, will not give weight to our remonstrances. Let us
all be united with one spirit in one cause. Let us invent; let us
work; let us save; let us at the same time, keep up our claims, and
unceasingly repeat our complaints; but above all, let us implore the
protection of that infinite good and gracious Being, "by whom kings
reign and princes decree justice."

    "_Nil desperandum._"
      Nothing is to be despaired of.

                                           A FARMER.



LETTER IV.


_Beloved Countrymen_,

An objection, I hear, has been made against what I offer in my
second letter, which I would willingly clear up before I proceed.
"There is," say these objectors "a material difference between the
Stamp-act and the late act for laying a duty on paper, &c. that
justifies the conduct of those who opposed the former, and yet
are willing to submit to the latter. The duties imposed by the
Stamp-act, were internal taxes, but the present are external, which
therefore the parliament may have a right to impose."----To this I
answer, with a total denial of the power of parliament to lay upon
these colonies any tax whatever.

This point being so important to this and to all succeeding
generations, I wish to be clearly understood.

To the word "Tax," I annex that meaning which the constitution and
history of England require to be annexed to it; that it is, an
imposition on the subject for the sole purpose of levying money.

In the early ages of our monarchy, the services rendered to the
crown, for the general good, were personal;[15] but in progress of
time, such institutions being found inconvenient, certain gifts
and grants of their own property were made by the people, under
the several names of aids, tallages, talks, taxes, subsidies, &c.
These were made as may be collected even from the names for public
service, "upon need and necessity,"[16] all these sums were levied
upon the people by virtue of their voluntary gift.[17] The design of
them was to support the national honour and interest. Some of those
grants comprehended duties arising from trade, being imports on
merchandizes. These Chief Justice Coke classes "under subsides"[18]
and "parliamentary aids." They are also called "customs." But
whatever the name was, they were always considered as gifts of the
people to the crown, to be employed for public uses.

    [15] It is very worthy of remark, how watchful our wise
    ancestors were, least these services should be extended beyond
    the limits of the law. No man was bound to go out of the realm
    to serve, and therefore even in the conquering reign of Henry V.
    when the martial spirit of the nation was inflamed by success
    to a great degree, they still carefully guarded against the
    establishment of illegal services. Lord Chief Justice Coke's
    words are these, "When this point concerning maintainance of
    wars out of England came in question, the Commons did make their
    continual claim of their antient freedom and birth-right, as
    in the first of Henry V. and 7th of Henry V. &c. the Commons
    made protest that they were not bound to the maintainance of
    war in Scotland, Ireland, Calais, France, Normandy, or other
    foreign parts, and caused their protests to be entered into
    the parliament roll, where they yet remain; which, in effect,
    agreeth with that, which upon the like occasion was made in the
    parliament of 25. E. 1." 2d Inst. p. 528.

    [16] 4. Inst. p. 28.

    [17] _Rege Angliæ nihiltale, nisi convocatis primis ordinibus et
    assentiente populo, suscipiunt. Phil. Comines._

    These gifts entirely depending on the pleasure of the donors,
    were proportioned to the abilities of the several ranks of
    people, who gave, and were regulated by their opinion of the
    public necessities. Thus Edward I. had in his 11th year a
    thirteenth from the laity, a twentieth from the clergy; in his
    22d year, a tenth from the laity, a sixth from London, and other
    corporate towns, half of their benefices from the clergy; in his
    23d year, an eleventh from the barons and others, a tenth from
    the clergy, and a seventh from the burgesses, &c.

    Hume's History of England.

    The same difference in the grants of the several ranks, is
    observable in other reigns. In the famous statute _de tallagio
    non concedendo_, the King enumerates the several classes,
    without whose consent he and his heirs should never set or levy
    any tax. "_Nullum tallagium vel auxilium, per nos, vel hæredes
    nostros, in regno nostro ponatur seu levetur, sine voluntare
    et assensu archiepiscoporum, episcoporum, comitum, baronum,
    militum, burgensium, et aliorum liberorum de regno nostro._" 34
    E. I.

    Lord Chief Justice Coke in his comment on these words, says,
    "for the quieting of the Commons, and for a perpetual and
    constant law for ever after, both in this and other like cases,
    this act was made." "These words are plain without scruple;
    absolute without any saving."

    2 Coke's Inst. p. 522, 523.

    Little did the venerable judge imagine, that "other like cases"
    would happen, in which the spirit of this law would be despised
    by Englishmen, the posterity of those who made it.

    [18] 4. Inst. p. 28.

    Commerce was at a low ebb, and most surprising instances may be
    produced, how little it was attended to, for a succession of
    ages. The terms that have been mentioned, and among the rest
    that of "tax," had obtained a national, parliamentary meaning,
    drawn from the principles of the constitution, long before any
    Englishmen thought of regulations of trade "by imposing duties."

    Whenever we speak of taxes among Englishmen, let us therefore
    speak of them with reference to the intentions with which, and
    the principles on which they have been established. This will
    give certainty to our expression, and safety to our conduct: but
    if when we have in view the liberty of these colonies, and the
    influence of "taxes" laid without our consent, we proceed in any
    other course, we pursue a Juno[19] indeed, but shall only catch
    a cloud.

    [19] The goddess of empire, in the heathen mythology. According
    to an ancient fable, Ixion pursued her, but she escaped by a
    cloud which she threw in his way.

    In the national parliamentary sense insisted on, the word
    "tax"[20] was certainly understood by the congress at New-York,
    whose resolves may be said to form the American "bill of
    rights." I am satisfied that the congress was of opinion, that
    no impositions could be legally laid on the people of these
    colonies for the purpose of levying money, but by themselves or
    their representatives.

    [20] In this sense Montesquieu uses the word "tax", in his 13th
    book of Spirit of Laws.

The third, fourth, fifth, and sixth resolves are thus expressed.

III. "That it is inseparably essential to the freedom of a people
and the undoubted right of Englishmen, that no tax be imposed on
them, but with their own consent, given personally or by their
representatives."

IV. "That the people of the colonies are not, and from their local
circumstances cannot be represented in the House of Commons, in
Great-Britain."

V. "That the only representatives of the people of the colonies, are
the persons chosen therein by themselves; and that no taxes ever
have been, or can be constitutionally imposed on them, but by their
respective legislatures."

VI. "That all supplies to the crown being free gifts of the people,
it is unreasonable and inconsistent with the principles and spirit
of the British constitution, for the people of Great-Britain to
grant to his Majesty the property of the colonies."

Here is no distinction made, between internal and external taxes.
It is evident from the short reasoning thrown into these resolves
that every imposition "to grant to his Majesty the property of the
colonies," was thought a "tax;" and that every such imposition if
laid any other way "but with their consent, given personally, or by
their representatives;" was not only "unreasonable, and inconsistent
with the principles and spirit of the British constitution," but
destructive "to the freedom of a people."

This language is clear and important. A "tax" means an imposition
to raise money. Such persons therefore as speak of internal and
external "taxes," I pray may pardon me, if I object to that
expression as applied to the privileges and interests of these
colonies. There may be external and internal impositions, founded
on different principles, and having different tendencies; every
"tax" being an imposition, tho' every imposition is not a "tax." But
all "taxes" are founded on the same principle, and have the same
tendency.

"External impositions for the regulation of our trade, do not grant
to his Majesty the property of the colonies." They only prevent the
colonies acquiring property in things not necessary, and in a manner
judged to be injurious to the welfare of the whole empire. But the
last statute respecting us, "grants to his Majesty the property of
these colonies," by laying duties on manufactures of Great-Britain,
which they must take, and which he settled them, in order that they
should take.

What[21] "tax" can be more "internal" than this? Here is money drawn
without their consent from a society, who have constantly enjoyed
a constitutional mode of raising all money among themselves. The
payment of this tax they have no possible method of avoiding, as
they cannot do without the commodities on which it is laid, and
they cannot manufacture these commodities themselves; besides, if
this unhappy country should be so lucky as to elude this act, by
getting parchment enough to use in the place of paper, or reviving
the antient method of writing on wax and bark, and by inventing
something to serve instead of glass, her ingenuity would stand
her in little stead; for then the parliament would have nothing
to do, but to prohibit manufactures, or to lay a tax on hats and
woollen cloths, which they have already prohibited the colonies
from supplying each other with; or on instruments and tools of
steel and iron, which they have prohibited the provincials from
manufacturing at all[22] And then what little gold and silver they
have, must be torn from their hands, or they will not be able in a
short time, to get an ax[23] for cutting their firewood, nor a plough
for raising their food.--In what respect therefore, I beg leave to
ask, is the late act preferable to the Stamp-act, or more consistent
with the liberties of the colonies? "I regard them both with equal
apprehension, and think they ought to be in the same manner opposed."

  "_Habemus quidem senatus consultum--tanquam
        gladium in vagina repositum_"
  We have a statute like a sword in the scabbard.

                                           A FARMER.

    [21] It seems to be evident, that Mr. Pitt, in his defence
    of America, during the debate concerning the repeal of the
    Stamp-act, by "_internal taxes_" meant any duties "_for the
    purpose of raising a revenue_;" and by "_external taxes_," meant
    "_duties imposed for the regulation of trade_." His expressions
    are these.--"If the gentleman does not understand the difference
    between internal and external taxes, I cannot help it; but there
    is a plain distinction between taxes levied for the purposes
    of raising a revenue, and duties imposed for the regulation
    of trade, for the accommodation of the subject; altho' in the
    consequences, some revenue might incidentally arise from the
    latter."

    These words were in Mr. Pitt's reply to Mr. Grenville, who
    said he could not understand the difference between external
    and internal taxes. But Mr. Pitt in his first speech, had
    made no such distinction; and his meaning, when he mentions
    the distinction, appears to be--that by "_external taxes_,"
    he intended impositions, for the purpose of regulating the
    intercourse of the colonies with others; and by "_internal
    taxes_," he intended impositions, for the purpose of taking
    money from them.

    In every other part of his speeches on that occasion, his words
    confirm this construction of his expressions. The following
    extracts will shew how positive and general were his assertions
    of our right.

    "IT IS MY OPINION THAT THIS KINGDOM HAS NO RIGHT TO LAY A TAX
    UPON THE COLONIES." "THE AMERICANS ARE THE SONS NOT THE BASTARDS
    OF ENGLAND. TAXATION IS NO PART OF THE GOVERNING OR LEGISLATIVE
    POWER." "The taxes are a voluntary gift and grant of the Commons
    alone. In legislation the three estates of the realm are alike
    concerned, but the concurrence of the peers and the crown to a
    tax, is only necessary to close with the form of a law. The gift
    and grant is of the Commons alone." "The distinction between
    legislation and taxation is essentially necessary to liberty."
    "_The Commons of America represented in their several assemblies
    have ever been in possession of the exercise of this, their
    constitutional right, of giving and granting their own money.
    They would have been slaves, if they had not enjoyed it._" "The
    idea of a virtual representation of America in this house, is
    the most contemptible idea that ever entered into the head of
    man. It does not deserve a serious refutation."

    He afterwards shews the unreasonableness of Great-Britain taxing
    America, thus--"When I had the honour of serving his Majesty, I
    availed myself of the means of information, which I derived from
    my office: I speak therefore from knowledge. My materials were
    good, I was at pains to collect, to digest, to consider them:
    _and I will be bold to affirm that the profit to Great-Britain
    from the trade of the colonies, thro' all its branches, is two
    millions a year. This is the fund that carried you triumphantly
    thro' the last war._ The estates that were rented at two
    thousand pounds a year, threescore years ago, are at three
    thousand pounds at present. Those estates sold then from fifteen
    to eighteen years purchase; the same may now be sold for thirty.
    YOU OWE THIS TO AMERICA. THIS IS THE PRICE THAT AMERICA PAYS
    YOU FOR HER PROTECTION,"--"I dare not say how much higher these
    profits may be augmented."--"Upon the whole, I will beg leave
    to tell the house what is really my opinion: it is, THAT THE
    STAMP-ACT BE REPEALED ABSOLUTELY, TOTALLY, AND IMMEDIATELY. That
    the reason for the repeal be assigned, because it was founded on
    an erroneous principle."

    [22] "And that pig and bar iron made in his Majesty's colonies
    in America may be further manufactured in this kingdom, be it
    further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that from and after
    the twenty-fourth day of June, 1750, no mill or other engine
    for slitting or rolling of iron, or any plaiting forge to work
    with a tilt hammer, or any furnace for making steel, shall
    be erected, or after such erection continued, in any of his
    Majesty's colonies in America."

    3 Geo. II. chap. 29. sect. 9.

    [23] Though these particulars are mentioned as being so
    absolutely necessary, yet perhaps they are not more so than
    glass, in our severe winters, to keep out the cold, from
    our houses; or than paper, without which such inexpressible
    confusion must ensue.



LETTER V.


_Beloved Countrymen_,

Perhaps the objection to the late act, imposing duties upon paper,
&c. might have been safely rested on the arguments drawn from the
universal conduct of parliaments and ministers, from the first
existence of these colonies, to the administration of Mr. Grenville.

What but the indisputable, the acknowledged exclusive right of the
colonies to tax themselves, could be the reason, that in this long
period of more than one hundred and fifty years, no statute was ever
passed for the sole purpose of raising a revenue on the colonies?
And how clear, how cogent must that reason be, to which every
parliament and every minister, for so long a time submitted, without
a single attempt to innovate?

England in part of that course of years, and Great Britain, in other
parts, was engaged in fierce and expensive wars; troubled with some
tumultuous and bold parliaments; governed by many daring and wicked
ministers; yet none of them ever ventured to touch the PALLADIUM OF
AMERICAN LIBERTY. Ambition, avarice, faction, tyranny, all revered
it. Whenever it was necessary to raise money on the colonies, the
requisitions of the crown were made, and dutifully complied with.
The parliament from time to time regulated their trade, and that
of the rest of the empire, to preserve their dependencies, and the
connection of the whole in good order.

The people of Great-Britain in support of their privileges, boast
much of their antiquity. Yet it may well be questioned, if there is
a single privilege of a British subject, supported by longer, more
solemn, or more uninterrupted testimony, than the exclusive right
of taxation in these colonies. The people of Great-Britain consider
that kingdom as the sovereign of these colonies, and would now annex
to that sovereignty a prerogative never heard of before. How would
they bear this, was the case their own? What would they think of
a new prerogative claimed by the crown? We may guess what their
conduct would be from the transports of passion into which they fell
about the late embargo, laid to remove the most emergent necessities
of state, admitting of no delay; and for which there were numerous
precedents. Let our liberties be treated with the same tenderness,
and it is all we desire.

Explicit as the conduct of parliaments, for so many ages, is, to
prove that no money can be levied on these colonies, by parliament
for the purpose of raising a revenue; yet it is not the only
evidence in our favour.

Every one of the most material arguments against the legality of the
Stamp-act operates with equal force against the act now objected to;
but as they are well known, it seems unnecessary to repeat them here.

This general one only shall be considered at present. That tho'
these colonies are dependant on Great-Britain; and tho' she has a
legal power to make laws for preserving that dependance; yet it
is not necessary for this purpose, nor essential to the relation
between a mother-country and her colonies, as was eagerly contended
by the advocates for the Stamp-act, that she should raise money upon
them without their consent.

Colonies were formerly planted by warlike nations, to keep
their enemies in awe; to relieve their country overburthened
with inhabitants; or to discharge a number of discontented and
troublesome citizens. But in more modern ages, the spirit of
violence being in some measure, if the expression may be allowed,
sheathed in commerce, colonies have been settled by the nations of
Europe for the purposes of trade. These purposes were to be attained
by the colonies raising for their mother country those things which
she did not produce herself; and by supplying themselves from her
with things they wanted. These were the national objects in the
commencement of our colonies, and have been uniformly so in their
promotion.

To answer these grand purposes, perfect liberty was known to be
necessary; all history proving, that trade and freedom are nearly
related to each other. By a due regard to this wise and just plan,
the infant colonies exposed in the unknown climates, and unexplored
wildernesses of this new world, lived, grew, and flourished.

The parent country with undeviating prudence and virtue, attentive
to the first principles of colonization, drew to herself the
benefits she might reasonably expect, and preserved to her children
the blessings, on which those benefits were founded. She made laws
obliging her colonies to carry to her all those products which
she wanted for her own use; and all those raw materials which she
chose herself to work up. Besides this restriction, she forbade
them to procure manufactures from any other part of the globe; or
even the products of European countries, which alone could rival
her, without being first brought to her. In short, by a variety of
laws, she regulated their trade in such a manner, as she thought
most conducive to their mutual advantage, and her own welfare. A
power was reserved to the crown of repealing any laws that should
be enacted. The executive authority of government was all lodged in
the crown and its representatives; and an appeal was secured to the
crown from all judgments in the administration of justice.

For all these powers established by the mother country over the
colonies; for all these immense emoluments derived by her from them;
for all their difficulties and distresses in fixing themselves,
what was the recompense made them? A communication of her rights
in general, and particularly of that great one, the foundation of
all the rest--that their property, acquired with so much pain and
hazard, should not be disposed of by[24] any one but themselves--or
to use the beautiful and emphatic language of the sacred scriptures,
"that they should sit every man under his vine, and under his fig
tree, and none should make them afraid."[25]

    [24] The power of taxing themselves, was the privileges of which
    the English were, with reason, particularly jealous.

    Hume's hist. of England.

    [25] Mic. iv. 4.

Can any man of candour and knowledge deny, that these institutions,
form an affinity between Great-Britain and her colonies, that
sufficiently secures their dependance upon her? or that for her to
levy taxes upon them, is to reverse the nature of things? or that
she can pursue such a measure, without reducing them to a state of
vassalage?

If any person cannot conceive the supremacy of Great Britain to
exist, without the power of laying taxes to levy money upon us,
the history of the colonies and of Great-Britain since their
settlement will prove the contrary. He will there find the amazing
advantages arising to her from them--The constant exercise of her
supremacy--and their filial submission to it, without a single
rebellion, or even the thought of one, from the first emigration to
this moment--and all these things have happened, without an instance
of Great-Britain laying taxes to levy money upon them.

How many British authors[26] have remonstrated that the present
wealth, power and glory of their country are founded on these
colonies? As constantly as streams tend to the ocean, have they been
pouring the fruits of all their labours into their mother's lap.
Good Heaven! And shall a total oblivion of former tendernesses
and blessings be spread over the minds of a wise people, by the
sordid acts of intriguing men, who covering their selfish projects
under pretences of public good, first enrage their countrymen into
a frenzy of passion, and then advance their own influence and
interest, by gratifying that passion, which they themselves have
barely excited?

    [26] It has been said in the house of commons, when complaints
    have been made of the decay of trade to any part of Europe,
    "That such things were not worth regard, as Great-Britain was
    possest of colonies that could consume more of her manufactures
    than she was able to supply them with."

    "As the case now stands, we shall shew that the plantations are
    a spring of wealth to this nation, that they work for us, that
    their treasure centers all here, and that the laws have tied
    them fast enough to us; so that it must be through our own fault
    and mismanagement, if they become independent of England."

                     Davenant on the plantat. trade.

    "It is better that the islands should be supplied from the
    Northern Colonies than from England, for this reason; the
    provisions we might send to Barbados, Jamaica, &c. would be
    unimproved product of the earth, as grain of all kinds, or such
    product where there is little got by the improvement, as malt,
    salt, beef and pork; indeed the exportation of salt fish thither
    would be more advantageous, but the goods which we send to the
    northern colonies are such, whose improvement may be justly
    said, one with another to be near four fifths of the value of
    the whole commodity, as apparel, household furniture, and many
    other things."

                                               Idem.

    "New-England is the most prejudicial plantation to the kingdom
    of England; and yet, to do right to that most industrious
    English colony, I must confess, that though we lose by their
    unlimited trade with other foreign plantations, yet we are very
    great gainers by their direct trade to and from Old England.
    Our yearly exportations of English manufactures, malt and
    other goods, from hence thither, amounting, in my opinion,
    to ten times the value of what is imported from thence;
    which calculation I do not make at random, but upon mature
    consideration, and peradventure, upon as much experience in this
    very trade, as any other person will pretend to; and therefore,
    whenever reformation of our correspondency in trade with that
    people shall be thought on, it will, in my poor judgment,
    require great tenderness, and very serious circumspection."

              Sir Josiah Child's discourse on trade.

    "Our plantations spend mostly our English manufactures, and
    those of all sorts almost imaginable, in egregious quantities,
    and employ near two thirds of all our English shipping; so that
    we have more people in England, by reason of our plantations in
    America."

                                               Idem.

    Sir Josiah Child says, in another part of his work, "that not
    more than fifty families are maintained in England by the
    refining of sugar." From whence, and from what Davenant says, it
    is plain, that the advantages here said to be derived from the
    plantations by England, must be meant chiefly of the continental
    colonies.

    "I shall sum up my whole remarks on our American colonies, with
    this observation, that as they are a certain annual revenue
    of several millions sterling to their mother country, they
    ought carefully to be protected, duly encouraged, and every
    opportunity that presents, improved for their increasment and
    advantage, as every one they can possibly reap, must at least
    return to us with interest."

                             Beawes's Lex merc. red.

    "We may safely advance, that our trade and navigation are
    greatly increased by our colonies, and that they really are
    a source of treasure and naval power to this kingdom, since
    they work for us, and their treasure centers here. Before
    their settlement, our manufactures were few, and those but
    indifferent; the number of English merchants very small, and the
    whole shipping of the nation much inferior to what now belongs
    to the northern colonies only. These are certain facts. But
    since their establishment, our condition has altered for the
    better, almost to a degree beyond credibility. Our manufactures
    are prodigiously encreased, chiefly by the demand for them
    in the plantations, where they at least take off one half,
    and supply us with many valuable commodities for exportation,
    which is as great an emolument to the mother kingdom, as to the
    plantations themselves."

                   Postlethwait's universal dict. of
                         trade and commerce.

    "Most of the nations of Europe have interfered with us more
    or less, in divers of our staple manufactures, within half
    a century, not only in our woollen, but in our lead and tin
    manufactures, as well as our fisheries."

                                               Idem.

    "The inhabitants of our colonies, by carrying on a trade with
    their foreign neighbours, do not only occasion a greater
    quantity of the goods and merchandizes of Europe being sent from
    hence to them, and a greater quantity of the product of America
    to be sent from them thither, which would otherways be carried
    from, and brought to Europe by foreigners, but an increase of
    the seamen and navigation in those parts, which is of great
    strength and security, as well as of great advantage to our
    plantations in general. And though some of our colonies are not
    only for preventing the importations of all goods of the same
    species they produce, but suffer particular planters to keep
    great runs of land in their possession uncultivated with design
    to prevent new settlements, whereby they imagine the prices of
    their commodities may be affected; yet if it be considered, that
    the markets of Great-Britain depend on the markets of all Europe
    in general, and that the European markets in general depend on
    the proportion between the annual consumption and the whole
    quantity of each species annually produced by all nations; it
    must follow, that whether we or foreigners, are the producers,
    carriers, importers and exporters of American produce, yet their
    respective prices in each colony (the difference of freight,
    customs and importations considered) will always bear proportion
    to the general consumption of the whole quantity of each sort,
    produced in all colonies, and in all parts, allowing only for
    the usual contingencies, that trade and commerce, agriculture
    and manufactures are liable to in all countries."

                                               Idem.

    "It is certain, that from the very time Sir Walter Raleigh,
    the father of our English colonies, and his associates, first
    projected these establishments, there have been persons who
    have found an interest, in misrepresenting, or lessening
    the value of them.--The attempts were called chimerical and
    dangerous. Afterwards many malignant suggestions were made,
    about sacrificing so many Englishmen to the obstinate desire of
    settling colonies in countries which then produced very little
    advantage. But as these difficulties were gradually surmounted,
    those complaints vanished. No sooner were these lamentations
    over, but others arose in their stead; when it could be no
    longer said, that the colonies were useless, it was alledged
    that they were not useful enough to their mother country; that
    while we were loaded with taxes, they were absolutely free; that
    the planters lived like princes, when the inhabitants of England
    laboured hard for a tolerable subsistence."

                                               Idem.

    "Before the settlement of these colonies," says Postlethwayt,
    "our manufactures were few, and those but indifferent. In those
    days we had not only our naval stores, but our ships from our
    neighbours. Germany furnished us with all things made of metal,
    even to nails. Wine, paper, linens, and a thousand other things
    came from France. Portugal supplied us with sugar; all the
    products of America were poured into us from Spain; and the
    Venetians and Genoese retailed to us the commodities of the
    East-Indies, at their own price."

    "If it be asked, whether foreigners for what goods they take of
    us, do not pay on that consumption a great portion of our taxes?
    It is admitted they do."

         Postlethwayt's Great-Britain's true system.

    "If we are afraid that one day or other the colonies will
    revolt, and set up for themselves, as some seem to apprehend,
    let us not drive them to a necessity to feel themselves
    independant of us; as they will do, the moment they perceive
    that they can be supplied with all things from within
    themselves, and do not need our assistance. If we would keep
    them still dependant upon their mother country, and in some
    respects subservient to their views and welfare, let us make it
    their interest always to be so."

                                    Tucker on trade.

    "Our colonies, while they have English blood in their veins, and
    have relations in England, and while they can get by trading
    with us, the stronger and greater they grow, the more this crown
    and kingdom will get by them; and nothing but such an arbitrary
    power as shall make them desperate can bring them to rebel."

                   Davenant on the plantation trade.

    "The northern colonies are not upon the same footing as those of
    the south; and having a worse soil to improve, they must find
    the recompence some other way, which only can be in property
    and dominion. Upon which score, any innovations in the form of
    government there, should be cautiously examined, for fear of
    entering upon measures, by which the industry of the inhabitants
    may be quite discouraged. 'Tis always unfortunate for a people,
    either by consent or upon compulsion, to depart from their
    primitive institutions, and those fundamental, by which they
    were first united together."

                                               Idem.

    All wise states will well consider how to preserve the
    advantages arising from colonies, and avoid the evils. And I
    conceive that there can be but two ways in nature to hinder
    them from throwing off their dependence; one to keep it out of
    their power, and the other, out of their will. The first must be
    by force; and the latter by using them well, and keeping them
    employed in such productions, and making such manufactures, as
    will support themselves and families comfortably, and procure
    them wealth too, and at least not prejudice their mother country.

    Force can never be used effectually to answer the end, without
    destroying the colonies themselves. Liberty and encouragement
    are necessary to carry people thither, and to keep them together
    when they are there; and violence will hinder both. Any body
    of troops considerable enough to awe them, and keep them in
    subjection, under the direction too of a needy governor, often
    sent thither to make his fortune, and at such a distance from
    any application for redress, will soon put an end to all
    planting, and leave the country to the soldiers alone, and if
    it did not, would eat up all the profit of the colony. For this
    reason, arbitrary countries have not been equally successful in
    planting colonies with free ones; and what they have done in
    that kind, has either been by force at a vast expence, or by
    departing from the nature of their government, and giving such
    privileges to planters as were denied to their other subjects.
    And I dare say, that a few prudent laws, and a little prudent
    conduct, would soon give us far the greatest share of the riches
    of all America, perhaps drive many of other nations out of it,
    or into our colonies for shelter.

    There are so many exigencies in all states, so many foreign
    wars and domestic disturbances, that these colonies can never
    want opportunities, if they watch for them, to do what they
    shall find their interest to do; and therefore we ought to
    take all the precautions in our power, that it shall never be
    their interest to act against that of their native country; an
    evil which can no otherways be averted, than by keeping them
    fully employed in such trades as will increase their own, as
    well as our wealth; for it is much to be feared, if we do not
    find employment for them, they may find it for us. The interest
    of the mother country is always to keep them dependent, and
    so employed; and it requires all her address to do it; and it
    is certainly more easily and effectually done by gentle and
    insensible methods, than by power alone.

                                     Cato's letters.

Hitherto Great-Britain has been contented with her prosperity.
Moderation has been the rule of her conduct. But now a generous and
humane people that so often has protected the liberty of strangers,
is inflamed into an attempt to tear a privilege from her own
children, which, if executed, must in their opinion, sink them into
slaves: And for what? For a pernicious power, not necessary to her,
as her own experience may convince her; but horribly dreadful and
detestable to them.

It seems extremely probable, that when cool, dispassionate posterity
shall consider the affectionate intercourse, the reciprocal
benefits, and the unsuspecting confidence, that have subsisted
between these colonies and their parent country, for such a length
of time, they will execrate with the bitterest curses the infamous
memory of those men, whose pestilential ambition, unnecessarily,
wantonly, first opened the sources of civil discord, between them;
first turned their love into jealousy; and first taught these
provinces, filled with grief and anxiety, to enquire,

    "_Mens ubi materna est?_"
      Where is maternal affection.

                                           A FARMER.



LETTER VI.


_Beloved Countrymen,_

It may perhaps be objected against the arguments that have been
offered to the public concerning the legal power of the parliament,
that it has always exercised the power of imposing duties for the
purposes of raising a revenue on the productions of these colonies
carried to Great-Britain, which may be called a tax on them. To this
I answer; that is no more a violation of the rights of the colonies,
than their being ordered to carry certain of their productions to
Great-Britain, which is no violation at all; it being implied in
the relation between them, that the colonies should not carry such
commodities to other nations, as should enable them to interfere
with the mother country. The duties imposed on these commodities
when brought to her, are only a consequence of her paternal right;
and if the point is thoroughly examined, will be found to be laid
on the people of the mother country, and not at all dangerous to
the liberties of the colonies. Whatever these duties are, they
must proportionably raise the price of the goods, and consequently
the duties must be paid by the consumers. In this light they were
considered by the parliament in the 25 Char. II. Chap. 7, sec. 2,
which says, that the productions of the plantations were carried
from one to another free from all customs "while the subjects of
this your kingdom of England have paid great customs and impositions
for what of them have been spent here, &c." Such duties therefore
can never be injurious to the liberties of the colonies.

Besides, if Great-Britain exports these commodities again, the
duties will injure her own trade, so that she cannot hurt us without
plainly and immediately hurting herself; and this is our check
against her acting arbitrarily in this respect.

It[27] may, perhaps, be further objected, "that it being granted that
statutes made for regulating trade are binding upon us, it will be
difficult for any persons but the makers of the laws to determine,
which of them are made for the regulating of trade, and which for
raising a revenue; and that from hence may arise confusion."

    [27] 'If any one should observe, that no opposition has been
    made to the legality of the 4th Geo. III. ch. 15, which is
    the first act of parliament that ever imposed duties on the
    importations in America, for the express purpose of raising a
    revenue there, I answer, first, that tho' that act expressly
    mentions the raising a revenue in America, yet it seems that
    it had as much in view, "the improving and securing the trade
    between the same and Great-Britain," which words are part of
    its title, and the preamble says, "Whereas it is expedient
    that new provisions and regulations should be established for
    improving the revenue of this kingdom, and for extending and
    securing the navigation and commerce between Great-Britain and
    your Majesty's dominions in America, which, by the peace, have
    been so happily extended and enlarged, &c." 'Secondly, all
    the duties mentioned in that act, are imposed solely on the
    productions and manufactures of foreign countries, and not a
    single duty laid on any production or manufacture of our mother
    country. Thirdly, the authority of the provincial assemblies
    is not therein so plainly attacked, as by the last act, which
    makes provision for defraying the charges of the administration
    of justice, and the support of civil government, 4thly, That it
    being doubtful whether the intention of the 4th Geo. III. ch.
    15, was not as much to regulate trade as to raise a revenue, the
    minds of the people here were wholly engrossed by the terror of
    the Stamp-act, then impending over them, about the intention of
    which they could be in no doubt.'

    'These reasons so far distinguish 4th Geo. III. ch. 15, from
    the last act, that it is not to be wondered at, that the first
    should have been submitted to, though the last should excite the
    most universal and spirited opposition. For this will be found
    on the strictest examination to be, in the principle on which
    it is founded, and in the consequences that must attend it, if
    possible, more destructive than the Stamp-act. It is, to speak
    plainly, a prodigy in our laws, not having one British feature.'

To this I answer, that the objection is of no force in the present
case, or such as resemble it, because the act now in question is
formed expressly for the sole purpose of raising a revenue.

However, supposing the design of the parliament had not been
expressed, the objection seems to me of no weight, with regard to
the influence, which those who may make it, might expect it ought
to have on the conduct of the colonies.

It is true, that impositions for raising a revenue, may be hereafter
called regulations of trade, but names will not change the nature
of things. Indeed we ought firmly to believe, what is an undoubted
truth, confirmed by the unhappy experience of many states heretofore
free, that unless the most watchful attention be exerted, a new
servitude may be slipped upon us under the sanction of usual and
respectable terms.

Thus the Cæsars ruined Roman liberty, under the titles of tribunical
and dictatorial authorities,----old and venerable dignities, known
in the most flourishing times of freedom. In imitation of the same
policy, James II. when he meant to establish popery, talked of
liberty of conscience, the most sacred of all liberties; and had
thereby almost deceived the dissenters into destruction.

All artful rulers, who strive to extend their own power beyond its
just limits, endeavour to give to their attempts, as much semblance
of legality as possible. Those who succeed them may venture to go a
little farther; for each new encroachment will be strengthened by a
former, [28]"That which is now supported by examples, growing old,
will become an example itself," and thus support fresh usurpations.

    [28] Tacitus.

A free people, therefore, can never be too quick in observing, nor
too firm in opposing the beginnings of alterations, either in form
or reality, respecting institutions formed for their security. The
first leads to the last; on the other hand nothing is more certain,
than that forms of liberty may be retained, when the substance is
gone. In government as well as in religion, "the letter killeth, but
the spirit giveth life."[29]

    [29] 2 Cor. iii. 6.

I will beg leave to enforce this remark by a few instances. The
crown, by the constitution, has the prerogative of creating peers;
the existence of that order in due number and dignity, is essential
to the constitution; and if the crown did not exercise that
prerogative, the peerage must have long since decreased so much, as
to have lost its proper influence. Suppose a prince for some unjust
purposes, should from time to time advance many needy profligate
wretches, to that rank, that all the independance of the house of
Lords should be destroyed, there would then be a manifest violation
of the constitution, under the appearance of using legal prerogative.

The house of Commons claim the privilege of forming all money-bills,
and will not suffer either of the other branches of the legislature
to add to or alter them; contending that their power, simply extends
to an acceptance or rejection of them. This privilege appears to
be just; but under pretence of this just privilege, the house of
Commons has claimed a licence of tacking to money bills, clauses
relating to many things of a totally different kind, and have thus
forced them, in a manner, on the crown and lords. This seems to
be an abuse of that privilege, and it may be vastly more abused.
Suppose a future house; influenced by some displaced discontented
demagogues, in a time of danger, should tack to a money bill
something so injurious to the king and peers, that they would not
assent to it and yet the Commons should obstinately insist on it;
the whole kingdom would be exposed to ruin, _under the appearance of
maintaining a valuable privilege_.

In these cases it might be difficult for a while to determine,
whether the King intended to exercise his prerogative in a
constitutional manner or not; or whether the Commons insisted on the
demand factitiously, or for the public good: But surely the conduct
of the crown, or of the house, would in time sufficiently explain
itself.

Ought not the people therefore to watch to observe facts? to search
into causes? to investigate designs? and have they not a right
of judging from the evidence before them, on no slighter points
than their liberty and happiness? It would be less than trifling,
wherever a British government is established, to make use of any
other arguments to prove such a right. It is sufficient to remind
the reader of the day on which King William landed at Torbay.[30]

    [30] November 5, 1688.

I will now apply what has been said to the present question. The
nature of any impositions laid by parliament on the colonies, must
determine the design in laying them. It may not be easy in every
instance to discover that design. Whenever it is doubtful, I think
submission cannot be dangerous; nay, it must be right: for, in my
opinion, there is no privilege the colonies claim, which they ought,
in duty and prudence, more earnestly to maintain and defend, than
the authority of the British parliament to regulate the trade of all
her dominions. Without this authority, the benefits she enjoys from
our commerce, must be lost to her: The blessings we enjoy from our
dependance upon her, must be lost to us; her strength must decay;
her glory vanish; and she cannot suffer, without our partaking in
her misfortune.----"Let us therefore cherish her interest as our
own, and give her every thing that it becomes FREEMEN to give or to
receive."

The _nature_ of any impositions she may lay upon us, may in general
be known, considering how far they relate to the preserving, in due
order, the connexion between the several parts of the _British_
empire. One thing we may be assured of, which is this; whenever a
statute imposes duties on commodities, to be paid only upon their
exportation from Great-Britain to these colonies, it is not a
regulation of trade, but a design to raise a revenue upon us. Other
instances may happen, which it may not be necessary to dwell on.
I hope these colonies will never, to their latest existence, want
understanding sufficient to discover the intentions of those who
rule over them, nor the resolution necessary for asserting their
interests. They will always have the same right that all free states
have, of judging when their privileges are invaded, and of using all
prudent measures for preserving them.

    "_Quocirca vivite fortes_"
    "_Fortiaque adversis opponite pectora rebus_,"

Wherefore keep up your spirits, and gallantly oppose this adverse
course of affairs.

                                           A FARMER.



LETTER VII.


_Beloved Countrymen_,

This letter is intended more particularly for such of you,
whose employment in life may have prevented your attending to
the consideration of some points that are of great and public
importance. For many such persons there must be even in these
colonies, where the inhabitants in general are more intelligent than
any other people, as has been remarked by strangers, and it seems
with reason.

Some of you perhaps, filled as I know your breasts are with loyalty
to our most excellent prince, and with love to our dear mother
country, may feel yourselves inclined by the affections of your
hearts, to approve every action of those whom you so much venerate
and esteem.

A prejudice thus flowing from goodness of disposition is amiable
indeed. I wish it could be indulged without danger. Did I think this
possible, the error should have been adopted, not opposed by me.
But in truth, all men are subject to the passions and frailties of
nature; and therefore whatever regard we entertain for the persons
of those who govern us, we should always remember that their
conduct as rulers may be influenced by human infirmities.

When any laws injurious to these colonies are passed, we cannot,
with the least propriety, suppose that any injury was intended us
by his Majesty or the Lords. For the assent of the crown and peers
to law seems, as far as I am able to judge, to have been vested
in them, more for their own security than for any other purpose.
On the other hand, it is the particular business of the people to
enquire and discover what regulations are useful for themselves,
and to digest and present them in the form of bills to the other
orders, to have them enacted into laws--Where these laws are to
bind themselves, it may be expected that the house of Commons will
very carefully consider them: But when they are making laws, that
are not designed to bind themselves, we cannot imagine that their
deliberations will be as cautious and scrupulous as in their own
case.[31]

    [31] Many remarkable instances might be produced of the
    extraordinary inattention with which bills of great importance,
    concerning these colonies, have passed in parliament; which is
    owing, as it is supposed, to the bills being brought in by the
    persons who have points to carry, so artfully framed, that it is
    not easy for the members in general, in the haste of business,
    to discover their tendency.

    The following instances shew the truth of this remark. When
    Mr. Grenville, in the violence of reformation and innovation,
    formed the 4th Geo. III. chap. 15th, for regulating the American
    trade, the word "Ireland" was dropt in the clause relating to
    our iron and lumber, so that we could send these articles to
    no other part of Europe, but to Great-Britain. This was so
    unreasonable a restriction, and so contrary to the sentiments of
    the legislature, for many years before, that it is surprising it
    should not have been taken notice of in the house. However the
    bill passed into a law. But when the matter was explained, this
    restriction was taken off in a subsequent act.

    I cannot postively say, how long after the taking off this
    restriction, as I have not the acts; but I think in less than
    eighteen months, another act of parliament passed, in which the
    word "Ireland," was left out as it had been before. The matter
    being a second time explained, was a second time regulated.

    Now if it be considered, that the omission mentioned struck
    off, with one word, so very great a part of our trade, it must
    appear remarkable: and equally so is the method by which rice
    became an enumerated commodity, and therefore could be carried
    to Great-Britain only.

    "The enumeration was obtained, (says Mr. Gee*) by one Cole,
    a Captain of a ship, employed by a company then trading to
    Carolina; for several ships going from England thither and
    purchasing rice for Portugal, prevented the aforesaid Captain of
    a loading. Upon his coming home, he possessed one Mr. Lowndes,
    a member of parliament (who was very frequently employed to
    prepare bills) with an opinion, that carrying rice directly to
    Portugal was a prejudice to the trade of England, and privately
    got a clause into an act to make it an enumerated commodity; by
    which means he secured a freight to himself. But the consequence
    proved a vast loss to the nation."

        [* Gee on trade, p. 32.]

    I find that this clause "privately got into an act," for the
    benefit of Capt. Cole, "to the vast loss of the nation,"
    is foisted into the 3d Anne, chap. 5, intituled, "An act
    for granting to her Majesty a further subsidy on wines and
    merchandizes imported," with which it has no more connexion,
    than with 34th Edw. I. 34th and 35th of Henry VIII. or the 25th
    of Car. II. which provide that no person shall be taxed but by
    himself or his representative.

I am told that there is a wonderful address frequently used in
carrying points in the house of commons, by persons experienced in
these affairs--that opportunities are watched--and sometimes votes
are past, that if all the members had been present, would have been
rejected by a great majority. Certain it is, that when a powerful
and artful man has determined on any measure against these colonies,
he has always succeeded in his attempt. Perhaps therefore it will
be proper for us, whenever any oppressive act affecting us is past,
to attribute it to the inattention of the members of the house of
commons, and to the malevolence or ambition of some factious great
man, rather than to any other cause.

Now I do verily believe, that the late act of parliament imposing
duties on paper, &c. was formed by Mr. Grenville and his party,
because it is evidently a part of that plan, by which he endeavoured
to render himself popular at home; and I do also believe that not
one half of the members of the house of commons, even of those who
heard it read, did perceive how destructive it was to American
freedom.

For this reason, as it is usual in Great-Britain, to consider the
King's speech, as the speech of the ministry, it may be right here
to consider this act as the act of a party.--Perhaps I should speak
more properly if I was to use another term.--

There are two ways of laying taxes.--One is by imposing a certain
sum on particular kinds of property, to be paid by the user or
consumer, or by taxing the person at a certain sum; the other is, by
imposing a certain sum on particular kinds of property to be paid by
the seller.

When a man pays the first sort of tax, he knows with certainty
that he pays so much money for a tax. The consideration for which
he pays it is remote, and it may be does not occur to him. He is
sensible too that he is commanded and obliged to pay it as a tax;
and therefore people are apt to be displeased with this sort of tax.

The other sort of tax is submitted to in a very different manner.
The purchaser of any article very seldom reflects that the seller
raises his price so as to indemnify him for the tax he has paid. He
knows the prices of things are continually fluctuating, and if he
thinks about the tax, he thinks at the same time in all probability,
that he might have paid as much, if the article he buys had not been
taxed. He gets something visible and agreeable for his money, and
tax and price are so confounded together, that he cannot separate,
or does not chuse to take the trouble of separating them.

This mode of taxation therefore is the mode suited to arbitrary
and oppressive governments. The love of liberty is so natural to
the human heart, that unfeeling tyrants think themselves obliged
to accommodate their schemes as much as they can to the appearance
of justice and reason, and to deceive those whom they resolve to
destroy or oppress, by presenting to them a miserable picture of
freedom, when the inestimable original is lost.

This policy did not escape the cruel and rapacious Nero. That
monster, apprehensive that his crimes might endanger his authority
and life, thought proper to do some popular acts to secure the
obedience of his subjects. Among other things, says [32]Tacitus, "he
remitted the twenty-fifth part of the price on the sale of slaves,
but rather in shew than reality; for the seller being ordered to pay
it, it became a part of the price to the buyer."

    [32] Tacitus's An. b. 13. f. 31.

This is the reflection of the judicious historian: but the deluded
people gave their infamous emperor full credit for his false
generosity. Other nations have been treated in the same manner the
Romans were. The honest industrious Germans who are settled in
different parts of this continent can inform us, that it was this
sort of tax that drove them from their native land to our woods, at
that time the seats of perfect and undisturbed freedom.

Their princes inflamed by the lust of power and the lust of avarice,
two furies, that the more hungry they grow, transgressed the
bounds, they ought in regard to themselves, to have observed. To
keep up the deception in the minds of subjects "there must be," says
a very learned author[33] "some proportion between the impost and the
value of the commodity; wherefore there ought not to be an excessive
duty upon merchandizes of little value. There are countries in
which the duty exceeds seventeen or eighteen times the value of
the commodity. In this case the prince removes the illusion. His
subjects plainly see they are dealt with in an unreasonable manner,
which renders them most exquisitely sensible of their slavish
situation."

    [33] Montesquieu's spirit of laws, b. 13. chap. 8.

From hence it appears that subjects may be ground down into misery
by this sort of taxation as well as the other. They may be as much
impoverished if their money is taken from them in this way, as
in the other; and that it will be taken, may be more evident, by
attending to a few more considerations.

The merchant, or importer who pays the duty at first, will
not consent to be so much money out of pocket. He, therefore,
proportionably raises the price of his goods. It may then be said to
be a contest between him and the person offering to buy, who shall
lose the duty. This must be decided by the nature of the commodities
and the purchasers demand for them. If they are mere luxuries,
he is at liberty to do as he pleases, and if he buys, he does it
voluntarily: But if they are absolute necessaries, or conveniences
which use and custom have made requisite for the comfort of life,
and which he is not permitted, by the power imposing the duty, to
get elsewhere, there the seller has a plain advantage, and the
buyer must pay the duty. In fact, the seller is nothing less than
the collector of the tax for the power that imposed it. If these
duties then are extended to necessaries and conveniences of life in
general, and enormously increased, the people must at length become
indeed "most exquisitely sensible of their slavish situation."

Their happiness, therefore, entirely depends on the moderation of
those who have authority to impose the duties.

I shall now apply these observations to the late act of parliament.
Certain duties are thereby imposed on paper and glass, &c. imported
into these colonies. By the laws of _Great-Britain_ we are
prohibited to get these articles from any other part of the world.
We cannot at present, nor for many years to come, though we should
apply ourselves to these manufactures with the utmost industry,
make enough ourselves for our own use. That paper and glass are not
only convenient, but absolutely necessary for us, I imagine very
few will contend. Some, perhaps, who think mankind grew wicked and
luxurious as soon as they found out another way of communicating
their sentiments than by speech, and another way of dwelling than
in caves, may advance so whimsical an opinion. But I presume nobody
will take the unnecessary trouble of refuting them.

From these remarks I think it evident, that we must use paper and
glass, that what we use must be _British_, and that we must pay the
duties imposed unless those who sell these articles are so generous
as to make us presents of the duties they pay, which is not to be
expected.

Some persons may think this act of no consequence, because the
duties are so _small_. A fatal error. That is the very circumstance
most alarming to me. For I am convinced that the authors of this
law, would never have obtained an act to raise so trifling a sum, as
it must do, had they not intended by it to establish a _precedent_
for future use. To console ourselves with the _smallness_ of the
duties, is to walk deliberately into the snare that is set for us,
praising the _neatness_ of the workmanship. Suppose the duties,
imposed by the late act, could be paid by these distressed colonies,
with the utmost ease, and that the purposes, to which they are
to be applied, were the most reasonable and equitable that could
be conceived, the contrary of which I hope to demonstrate before
these letters are concluded, yet even in such a supposed case,
these colonies ought to regard the act with abhorrence. For who
are a free people? not those over whom government is reasonably
and equitably exercised but those who live under a government, so
_constitutionally checked_ and _controuled_, that proper provision
is made against its being otherwise exercised. The late act is
founded on the destruction of this constitutional security.

If the parliament have a right to lay a duty of four shillings and
eight pence on a hundred weight of glass, or a ream of paper, they
have a right to lay a duty of any other sum on either. They may
raise the duty as the author before quoted says, has been done in
some countries, till it "exceeds seventeen or eighteen times the
value of the commodity." In short, if they have a right to levy a
tax of _one penny_ upon us, they have a right to levy a _million_
upon us. For where does their right stop? At any given number of
pence, shillings, or pounds? To attempt to limit their right, after
granting it to exist at all, is as contrary to reason, as granting
it to exist at all is contrary to justice. If they have any right
to tax us, then, whether our own money shall continue in our own
pockets, or not, depends no longer on _us_, but on _them_. "There
is nothing which we can call our own", or to use the words of Mr.
_Locke_, "What property have" we "in that, which another may, by
right, take, when he pleases, to himself."[34]

    [34] Speech Lord Cambden lately published.

These duties, which will inevitably be levied upon us, and which
are now levying upon us, are expressly laid for the sole purpose
of taking money. This is the true definition of taxes. They are
therefore taxes. This money is to be taken from us. We are therefore
taxed. Those who are taxed without their own consent, given by
themselves, or their representatives, are slaves.[35] We are taxed
without our own consent given by ourselves, or our representatives.
We are therefore----I speak it with grief----I speak it with
indignation----we are slaves.

    "_Miserabile vulgus._"
      A miserable tribe.

                                           A FARMER.

    [35] This is the opinion of Mr. Pitt, in his speech on the
    Stamp-act.

    "It is my opinion, that this kingdom has no right to lay a tax
    upon the colonies. The AMERICANS are the SONS, not the BASTARDS
    of ENGLAND. The distinction between legislation and taxation
    is essentially necessary to liberty. The Commons of America
    represented in their several assemblies, have ever been in
    possession of this their constitutional right of giving and
    granting their own money. They would have been slaves if they
    had not enjoyed it. The idea of a virtual representation of
    America, in this house, is the most contemptible idea that ever
    entered into the head of man. It does not deserve a serious
    refutation."

    That great and excellent man Lord Cambden, maintains the same
    opinion in his speech, in the house of peers, on the declaratory
    bill of the sovereignty of Great-Britain over the colonies.
    The following extracts so perfectly agree with, and confirm
    the sentiments avowed in these letters, that it is hoped the
    inserting them in this note will be excused.

    "As the affair is of the utmost importance, and in its
    consequences may involve the fate of kingdoms, I took the
    strictest review of my arguments; I re-examined all my
    authorities; fully determined, if I found myself mistaken,
    publicly to own my mistake, and give up my opinion, but my
    searches have more and more convinced me, that the British
    parliament have no right to tax the Americans. Nor is the
    doctrine new; it is as old as the constitution; it grew up with
    it, indeed it is its support. Taxation and representation are
    inseparably united. God hath joined them; no British parliament
    can separate them; to endeavour to do it is to stab our vitals.

    "My position is this--I repeat it--I will maintain it to my
    last hour--Taxation and representation are inseparable. This
    position is founded on the laws of nature; it is more, it
    is itself an eternal law of nature; for whatever is a man's
    own, is absolutely his own; and no man hath a right to take
    it from him without his consent, either expressed by himself
    or representative; whoever attempts to do it, attempts an
    injury; whoever does it, commits a robbery; he throws down
    the distinction between liberty and slavery." "There is not
    a blade of grass, in the most obscure corner of the kingdom,
    which is not, which was not, represented since the constitution
    began: there is not a blade of grass, which when taxed, was not
    taxed by the consent of the proprietor." "The forefathers of
    the Americans did not leave their native country, and subject
    themselves to every danger and distress, to be reduced to the
    state of slavery. They did not give up their rights; they looked
    for protection, and not for chains, from their mother-country.
    By her they expected to be defended in the possession of their
    property; and not to be deprived of it: For should the present
    power continue, there is nothing which they can call their own,
    or, to use the words of Mr. Locke, what property have they in
    that, which another may, by right, take, when he pleases, to him
    self."

    It is impossible to read this speech and Mr. Pitt's, and not be
    charmed with the generous zeal for the rights of mankind, that
    glows in every sentence. These great and good men, animated by
    the subject they speak upon, seem to rise above all the former
    glorious exertions of their abilities. A foreigner might be
    tempted to think they are Americans, asserting with all the
    ardour of patriotism, and all the anxiety of apprehension,
    the cause of their native land, and not Britons striving to
    stop their mistaken countrymen from oppressing others. There
    reasoning is not only just; it is "vehement," as Mr. Hume says
    of the eloquence of Demosthenes, "'Tis disdain, anger, boldness,
    freedom, involved in a continual stream of argument." Hume's
    Essay on Eloquence.



LETTER VIII.


_Beloved Countrymen_,

In my opinion, a dangerous example is set in the last act relating
to these colonies. The power of parliament to levy money upon us for
raising a revenue, is therein avowed and exerted. Regarding the act
on this single principle, I must again repeat, and I think it my
duty to repeat, that to me it appears to be unconstitutional.

No man, who considers the conduct of parliament since the repeal
of the Stamp-act, and the disposition of many people at home, can
doubt, that the chief object of attention there, is, to use Mr.
Grenville's expression, "providing that the dependance and obedience
of the colonies be asserted and maintained."

Under the influence of this notion, instantly on repealing the
Stamp-act, an act passed, declaring the power of parliament to
bind these colonies in all cases whatever. This, however, was only
planting a barren tree, that cast a shade indeed over the colonies,
but yielded no fruit. It being determined to enforce the authority
on which the Stamp-act was founded, the parliament having never
renounced the right, as Mr. Pitt advised them to do; and it being
thought proper to disguise that authority in such a manner, as not
again to alarm the colonies; some little time was required to find
a method, by which both these points should be united. At last the
ingenuity of Mr. Greenville and his party accomplished the matter,
as it was thought, in "An act for granting certain duties in the
British colonies and plantations in America, for allowing drawbacks,
&c. which is the title of the act laying duties on paper, &c."

The parliament having several times before imposed duties to be paid
in America, it was expected no doubt, that the repetition of such
a measure would be passed over as an usual thing. But to have done
this, without expressly asserting and maintaining "the power of
parliament to take our money without our consent," and to apply it
as they please, would not have been sufficiently declarative of its
supremacy, nor sufficiently depressive of American freedom.

Therefore it is, that in this memorable act we find it expressly
"provided" that money shall be levied upon us without our consent,
for purposes, that render it, if possible, more dreadful than the
Stamp-act.

That act, alarming as it was, declared, the money thereby to
be raised, should be applied "towards defraying the expences
of defending, protecting and securing the British colonies and
plantations in America:" And it is evident from the whole act,
that by the word "British" were intended colonies and plantations
settled by British people, and not generally, those subject to the
British crown. That act therefore seemed to have something gentle
and kind in its intention, and to aim only at our own welfare: But
the act now objected to, imposes duties upon the British colonies,
"to defray the expences of defending, protecting and securing his
Majesty's dominions in America."

What a change of words! What an incomputable addition to the
expences intended by the Stamp-act! "His Majesty's dominions"
comprehended not only the British colonies; but also the conquered
provinces of Canada and Florida, and the British garrisons of
Nova-Scotia; for these do not deserve the name of colonies.

What justice is there in making us pay for "defending, protecting
and securing" these places? What benefit can we, or have we ever
derived from them? None of them was conquered for us; nor will "be
defended, protected and secured" for us.

In fact, however advantageous the subduing or keeping any of these
countries may be to Great-Britain, the acquisition is greatly
injurious to these colonies. Our chief property consists in lands.
These would have been of a much greater value, if such prodigious
additions had not been made to the British territories on this
continent. The natural increase of our own people, if confined
within the colonies, would have raised the value still higher and
higher, every fifteen or twenty years. Besides, we should have lived
more compactly together, and have been therefore more able to resist
any enemy.

But now the inhabitants will be thinly scattered over an immense
region, as those who want settlements, will chuse to make new ones,
rather than pay great prices for old ones.

These are the consequences to the colonies of the hearty assistance
they gave to Great-Britain in the late war.----A war, undertaken
solely for her own benefit. The objects of it were, the securing to
herself the rich tracts of land on the back of these colonies, with
the Indian trade, and Nova-Scotia with the fishery. These, and much
more has that kingdom gained; but the inferior animals that hunted
with the Lion, have been amply rewarded for all the sweat and blood
their loyalty cost them, by the honour of having sweated and bled in
such company.

I will not go so far as to say, that Canada and Nova-Scotia are
curbs on New-England; the chain of forts through the back woods, on
the middle provinces; and Florida, on the rest: but I will venture
to say, that if the products of Canada, Nova-Scotia and Florida,
deserve any consideration, the two first of them are only rivals of
our northern colonies and the other of our southern.

It has been said, that without the conquest of these countries, the
colonies could not have been "protected, defended, and secured;"
If that is true, it may with as much propriety be said, that
Great-Britain could not have been "defended, protected, and secured"
without that conquest: for the colonies are parts of her empire,
which it is as much concerns her as them to keep out of the hands of
any other power.

But these colonies when they were much weaker, defended themselves,
before this conquest was made; and could again do it, against any
that might properly be called their enemies. If France and Spain
indeed should attack them, as members of the British empire perhaps
they might be distressed; but it would be in a British quarrel.

The largest account I have seen of the number of people in Canada,
does not make them exceed 90,000. Florida can hardly be said to have
any inhabitants----It is computed that there are in our colonies,
3,000,000.--Our force therefore must encrease with a disproportion
to the growth of their strength, that would render us very safe.

This being the state of the case, I cannot think it just, that these
colonies, labouring under so many misfortunes, should be loaded
with taxes, to maintain countries not only not useful, but hurtful
to them. The support of Canada and Florida cost yearly, it is said,
half a million sterling. From hence we may make some guess of the
load that is to be laid upon us; for we are not only to "defend,
protect, and secure" them, but also to make "an adequate provision
for defraying the charge of the administration of justice and the
support of civil government, in such provinces where it shall be
found necessary."

Not one of the provinces of Canada, Nova-Scotia, or Florida, has
ever defrayed these expences within itself: And if the duties
imposed by the last statute are collected, all of them together,
according to the best information I can get, will not pay
one-quarter as much as Pennsylvania alone. So that the British
colonies are to be drained of the rewards of their labour, to
cherish the scorching sands of Florida, and the icy rocks of Canada
and Nova-Scotia, which never will return to us one farthing that we
send to them.

Great-Britain----I mean the ministry in Great-Britain, has cantoned
Canada and Florida out into five or six governments, and may form
as many more. She now has fourteen or fifteen regiments on this
continent; and may send over as many more. To make "an adequate
provision" for all these expences, is, no doubt, to be the
inheritance of the colonies.

Can any man believe that the duties upon paper, &c. are the last
that will be laid for these purposes? It is in vain to hope, that
because it is imprudent to lay duties on the exportation of
manufactures from a mother country to colonies, as it may promote
manufactures among them, that this consideration will prevent them.

Ambitious, artful men have made the measure popular, and whatever
injustice or destruction will attend it in the opinion of the
colonists, at home it will be thought just and salutary.[36]

    [36] "So credulous, as well as obstinate, are the people in
    believing every thing, which flatters their prevailing passion."

                              Hume's Hist. of England.

The people of Great-Britain will be told, and they have been told,
that they are sinking under an immense debt--that great part of this
debt has been contracted in defending the colonies--that these are
so ungrateful and undutiful, that they will not contribute one mite
to its payment--nor even to the support of the army now kept up for
their "protection and security"--that they are rolling in wealth,
and are of so bold and republican a spirit, that they are aiming at
independence--that the only way to retain them in "obedience" is to
keep a strict watch over them, and to draw off part of their riches
in taxes--and that every burden laid upon them is taking off so much
from Great-Britain--These assertions will be generally believed,
and the people will be persuaded that they cannot be too angry with
their colonies, as that anger will be profitable to themselves.

In truth, Great-Britain alone receives any benefit from Canada,
Nova-Scotia, and Florida; and therefore she alone ought to maintain
them.--The old maxim of the law is drawn from reason and justice,
and never could be more properly applied, than in this case.

     "_Qui sentit, commodum, sentire debet et onus._"

     They who feel the benefit, ought to feel the burden.

                                           A FARMER.



LETTER IX.


_Beloved Countrymen_,

I have made some observations on the purposes for which money is to
be levied upon us by the late act of parliament. I shall now offer
to your consideration some further reflections on that subject; and,
unless I am greatly mistaken, if these purposes are accomplished,
according to the exprest intention of the act, they will be
found effectually to supersede that authority in our respective
assemblies, which is most essential to liberty. The question is not
whether some branches shall be lopt off--The ax is laid to the root
of the tree; and the whole body must infallibly perish, if we remain
idle spectators of the work.

No free people ever existed, or ever can exist, without, keeping, to
use a common but strong expression, "the purse strings" in their own
hands. Where this is the case, they have a constitutional check upon
the administration, which may thereby be brought into order without
violence: but where such a power is not lodged in the people,
oppression proceeds uncontrouled in its career, till the governed,
transported into rage, seeks redress in the midst of blood and
confusion.

The elegant and ingenious Mr. Hume, speaking of the Anglo-Norman
government, says "princes and ministers were too ignorant to be
themselves sensible of the advantages attending an equitable
administration; and there was no established council or assembly
which could protect the people, and, by withdrawing supplies,
regularly and peaceably admonish the King of his duty, and ensure
the execution of the laws."

Thus this great man, whose political reflections are so much
admired, makes this power one of the foundations of liberty.

The English history abounds with instances, proving that this is the
proper and successful way to obtain redress of grievances. How often
have Kings and ministers endeavoured to throw off this legal curb
upon them, by attempting to raise money by a variety of inventions,
under pretence of law, without having recourse to parliament? And
how often have they been brought to reason, and peaceably obliged to
do justice, by the exertion of this constitutional authority of the
people, vested in their representatives?

The inhabitants of these colonies have on numberless occasions,
reaped the benefits of this authority lodged in their assemblies.

It has been for a long time, and now is, a constant instruction to
all governors, to obtain a permanent support for the officers of
government. But as the author of the administration of the colonies
says, "this order of the crown is generally, if not universally,
rejected by the legislatures of the colonies."

They perfectly know how much their grievances would be regarded,
if they had no other method of engaging attention, than by
complaining. Those who rule, are extremely apt to think well of
the constructions made by themselves, in support of their own
power. These are frequently erroneous and pernicious to those they
govern--Dry remonstrances, to shew that such constructions are
wrong and oppressive, carry very little weight with them, in the
opinion of persons, who gratify their own inclinations in making
these constructions. They cannot understand the reasoning that
opposes their power and desire: but let it be made their interest to
understand such reasoning--and a wonderful light is instantly thrown
on the matter; and then rejected remonstrances become as clear as
"proof of holy writ."[37]

    [37] Shakespeare.

The three most important articles, that our assemblies, or any
legislatures can provide for, are, first the defence of the
society: secondly--the administration of justice: and, thirdly, the
support of civil government.

Nothing can properly regulate the expence of making provision for
these occasions, but the necessities of the society; its abilities;
the conveniency of the modes of levying money among them; the
manner in which the laws have been executed; and the conduct of the
officers of government; all which are circumstances that cannot
possibly be properly known, but by the society itself; or, if they
should be known, will not, probably, be properly considered, but by
that society.

If money may be raised upon us, by others, without our consent, for
our "defence," those who are the judges in levying it, must also
be the judges in applying it. Of consequence, the money said to
be taken from us for our defence, may be employed to our injury.
We may be chained in by a line of fortifications: obliged to pay
for building and maintaining them; and be told that they are for
our defence. With what face can we dispute the fact, after having
granted, that those who apply the money, had a right to levy it;
for, surely, it is much easier for their wisdom to understand how to
apply it in the best manner, than how to levy it in the best manner.
Besides, the right of levying is of infinitely more consequence,
than that of applying it. The people of England, that would burst
out into fury, if the crown should attempt to levy money by its own
authority, have assigned to the crown the application of money.

As to "the administration of justice"--the judges ought, in a well
regulated state, to be equally independant of the legislative
powers. Thus, in England, judges hold their commissions from the
crown "during good behaviour;" and have salaries, suitable to their
dignity, settled on them by parliament. The purity of the courts of
law, since this establishment, is a proof of the wisdom with which
it was made.

But, in these colonies, how fruitless has been every attempt to have
the judges appointed during good behaviour; yet whoever considers
the matter will soon perceive, that such commissions are beyond
all comparison more necessary in these colonies, than they are in
England.

The chief danger to the subject there, arose from the arbitrary
designs of the crown; but here, the time may come, when we may
have to contend with the designs of the crown, and of a mighty
kingdom. What then will be our chance, when the laws of life and
death, are to be spoken by judges, totally dependant on that crown
and kingdom--sent over, perhaps, from thence--filled with British
prejudice--and backed by a standing army, supported out of our
own pockets, to "assert and maintain" our own "dependance and
obedience."

But supposing, that through the extreme lenity that will prevail in
the government, through all future ages, these colonies never will
behold any thing like the campaign of chief justice Jeffereys, yet
what innumerable acts of injustice may be committed, and how fatally
may the principles of liberty be sapped by a succession of judges
utterly independant of the people? Before such judges, the supple
wretches, who cheerfully join in avowing sentiments inconsistent
with freedom, will always meet with smiles: while the honest and
brave men, who disdain to sacrifice their native land to their own
advantage, but on every occasion, boldly vindicate her cause, will
constantly be regarded with frowns.

There are two other considerations, relating to this head, that
deserve the most serious attention.

By the late act the officers of the customs are impowered "to enter
into any house, warehouse, shop, cellar, or other place, in the
British colonies or plantations in America, to search for, or seize
prohibited or unaccustomed goods," &c. on "writs granted by the
inferior or supreme court of justice, having jurisdiction within
such colony or plantation respectively."

If we only reflect that the judges of these courts are to be _during
pleasure_--that they are to have "_adequate provision_" made for
them, which is to continue during their _complisant behaviour_--that
they may be stranger to these colonies--what an engine of
oppression may this authority be in such hands?

I am well aware that writs of this kind may be granted at home,
under the seal of the court of exchequer: But I know also that
the greatest asserters of the rights of Englishmen, have always
strenuously contended, that such a power was dangerous to freedom,
and expressly contrary to the common law, which ever regarded a
man's house, as his castle, or a place of perfect security.

If such a power is in the least degree dangerous there, it must be
utterly destructive to liberty here.--For the people there have two
securities against the undue exercise of this power by the crown,
which are wanting with us, if the late act takes place. In the first
place, if any injustice is done there, the person injured may bring
his action against the offender, and have it tried by independant
judges, who are[38] no parties in committing the injury. Here he must
have it tried before dependant judges, being the men who granted the
writ.

    [38] The writs for searching houses in England are to be granted
    under the seal of the court of exchequer, according to the
    statute--and that seal is kept by the chancellor of the exchequer. 4
    Inst.

To say that the cause is to be tried by a jury can never reconcile
men, who have any idea of freedom to such a power.--For we know,
that sheriffs in almost every colony on this continent, are totally
dependant on the crown; and packing of juries has been frequently
practiced even in the capital of the British empire. Even if juries
are well inclined, we have too many instances of the influence of
overbearing unjust judges upon them. The brave and wise men who
accomplished the revolution, thought the independency of judges
essential to freedom.

The other security which the people have at home, but which we shall
want here, is this.--If this power is abused there, the parliament,
the grand resource of the opprest people, is ready to afford relief.
Redress of grievances must precede grants of money. But what regard
can we expect to have paid to our assemblies, when they will not
hold even the puny privilege of French parliaments----that of
registering the edicts, that take away our money, before they are
put in execution.

The second consideration above hinted at, is this--There is a
confusion in our laws that is quite unknown in Great-Britain. As
this cannot be described in a more clear or exact manner, than has
been done by the ingenious author of the history of New-York, I
beg leave to use his words. "The state of our laws opens a door
to much controversy. The uncertainty which respect them, renders
property precarious, and greatly exposes us to the arbitrary
decision of unjust judges. The common law of England is generally
received, together with such statutes, as were enacted before we
had a legislature of our own; but our courts exercise a sovereign
authority, in determining what parts of the common and statute law
ought to be extended: For it must be admitted, that the difference
of circumstances necessarily requires us, in some cases, to reject
the determination of both. In many instances they have also extended
even acts of parliament, passed since we had a distinct legislature,
which is greatly adding to our confusion. The practice of our courts
is no less uncertain than the law. Some of the English rules are
adopted, others rejected. Two things therefore seem to be absolutely
necessary for the public security. First the passing an act for
settling the extent of the English laws. Secondly, that the courts
ordain a general set of rules for the regulation of the practice."

How easy will it be under this "state of our laws" for an artful
judge to act in the most arbitrary manner, and yet cover his conduct
under specious pretences, and how difficult will it be for the
injured people to obtain redress, may be readily perceived. We may
take a voyage of three thousand miles to complain; and after the
trouble and hazard we have undergone, we may be told, that the
collection of the revenue and maintenance of the prerogative, must
not be discouraged.----And if the misbehaviour is so gross as to
admit of no justification, it may be said that it was an error in
judgment only, arising from the confusion of our laws, and the zeal
of the King's servants to do their duty.

If the commissions of judges are during the pleasure of the crown,
yet if their salaries are during the pleasure of the people, there
will be some check upon their conduct. Few men will consent to draw
on themselves the hatred and contempt of those among whom we live,
for the empty honour of being judges. It is the sordid love of gain
that tempts men to turn their backs on virtue, and pay their homage
where they ought not.

As to the third particular, the "support of civil government," few
words will be sufficient. Every man of the least understanding
must know, that the executive power may be exercised in a manner
so disagreeable and harassing to the people, that it is absolutely
requisite, they should be enabled by the gentlest method which
human policy has yet been ingenious enough to invent, that is by
the shutting their hands, to "admonish" (as Mr. Hume says) certain
persons "of their duty."

What shall we now think, when, upon looking into the late act, we
find the assemblies of these provinces thereby stript of their
authority on these several heads? The declared intention of that act
is, "that a revenue should be raised in his Majesty's dominions
in America, for making a more certain and adequate provision for
defraying the charge of the administration of justice, and the
support of civil government, in such provinces where it shall be
found necessary; and towards further defraying the expences of
defending, protecting, and securing the said dominions," &c.

Let the reader pause here one moment, and reflect--whether the
colony in which he lives, has not made such "certain and adequate
provisions" for these purposes, as is by the colony judged suitable
to its abilities, and all other circumstances. Then let him
reflect--whether, if this act takes place, money is not to be raised
on that colony without its consent to make provision for these
purposes, which it does not judge to be suitable to its abilities,
and all other circumstances. Lastly, let him reflect--whether
the people of that country are not in a state of the most abject
slavery, whose property may be taken from them under the notion
of right, when they have refused to give it. For my part, I think
I have good reason for vindicating the honour of the assemblies
on this continent, by publicly asserting, that they have made as
"certain and adequate provision" for the purposes above-mentioned,
as they ought to have made; and that it should not be presumed,
that they will not do it hereafter. Why then should these most
important truths be wrested out of their hands? Why should they not
now be permitted to enjoy that authority, which they have exercised
from the first settlement of these colonies? Why should they be
scandalized by this innovation, when their respective provinces
are now, and will be for several years, labouring under loads of
debts imposed on them for the very purposes now spoken of? Why
should the inhabitants of all these colonies be with the utmost
indignity treated, as a herd of despicable wretches, so utterly void
of common sense, that they will not even make "adequate provision"
for the "administration of justice" and "the support of civil
government" among them, for their "own defence"--though without
such "provision" every people must inevitably be overwhelmed with
anarchy and destruction? Is it possible to form an idea of slavery
more complete, more miserable, more disgraceful, than that of a
people, where justice is administered, government exercised, and
a standing army maintained, at the expence of the people, and yet
without the least dependance upon them? If we can find no relief
from this infamous situation, let Mr. Grenville set his fertile
fancy again to work, and as by one exertion of it, he has stripped
us of our property and liberty, let him by another deprive us of our
understanding too, that unconscious of what we have been or are,
and ungoaded by tormenting reflections, we may tamely bow down our
necks with all the stupid serenity of servitude, to any drudgery,
which our lords and masters may please to command.--

When the "charges of the administration of justice,"--"the support
of civil government;"--and "the expences of defending protecting and
securing" us, are provided for, I should be glad to know upon what
occasion the crown will ever call our assemblies together. Some few
of them may meet of their own accord, by virtue of their charters:
But what will they have to do when they are met? To what shadows
will they be reduced? The men, whose deliberations heretofore had an
influence on every matter relating to the liberty and happiness of
themselves and their constituents, and whose authority in domestic
affairs, at least, might well be compared to that of Roman senators,
will now find their deliberations of no more consequence than those
of constables.--They may perhaps be allowed to make laws for yoking
of hogs, or pounding of stray cattle. Their influence will hardly
be permitted to extend so high as the keeping roads in repair, as
that business may more properly be executed by those who receive the
public cash.

One most memorable example in history is so applicable to the
point now insisted on, that it will form a just conclusion of the
observations that have been made.

Spain was once free. Their _Cortes_ resembled our parliament. No
money could be raised on the subject, without their consent. One
of their Kings having received a grant from them to maintain a war
against the Moors, desired, that if the sum which they had given,
should not be sufficient, he might be allowed for that emergency
only, to have more money, without assembling the _Cortes_. The
request was violently opposed by the best and wisest men in the
assembly. It was however, complied with by the votes of a majority;
and this single concession was a precedent for other concessions
of the like kinds, until, at last, the crown obtained a general
power for raising money in cases of necessity. From that period the
_Cortes_ ceased to be useful, and the people ceased to be free.

    _Venienti occurrite morbo._
    Oppose a disease at its beginning.--

                                           A FARMER.



LETTER X.


_Beloved Countrymen_,

The consequences, mentioned in the last letter, will not be the
utmost limits of our misery and infamy. We feel too sensibly that
any[39] ministerial measures, relating to these colonies, are soon
carried successfully thro' the parliament. Certain prejudices
operate there so strongly against us, that it might justly be
questioned, whether all the provinces united, will ever be able
effectually to call to an account, before the parliament, any
minister who shall abuse the power by the late act given to the
crown in America. He may divide the spoils torn from us, in
what manner he pleases; and we shall have no way of making him
responsible. If he should order, that every Governor, should have a
yearly salary of 5000_l._ sterling, every chief justice of 3000_l._
every inferior officer in proportion; and should then reward the
most profligate, ignorant, or needy dependants on himself, or his
friends with places of the greatest trust because they were of the
greatest profit, this would be called an arrangement in consequence
of the "adequate provision for defraying the charge of the
administration of justice, and the support of the civil government."
And if the taxes should prove at any time insufficient to answer all
the expences of the numberless offices, which ministers may please
to create, surely the house of Commons would be too "modest" to
contradict a minister who should tell them, it was become necessary
to lay a new tax upon the colonies, for the laudable purpose of
"defraying the charges of the administration of justice, and the
support of civil government" among them. Thus in fact we shall be
taxed by ministers.[40]

    [39] The gentleman must not wonder he was not contradicted,
    when, as the minister, he asserted the right of parliament to
    tax America. I know not how it is, but there is a modesty in
    this house, which does not chuse to contradict a minister. I
    wish gentlemen would get the better of that modesty. If they
    do not, perhaps the collective body may begin to abate of its
    respect for the representative.

                                  Mr. Pitt's speech.

    [40] "Within this act, (_statute de tallagio non concedendo_)
    are all new offices erected with new fees, or old offices with
    new fees, for that is a tallage put upon the subject, which
    cannot be done without common assent by act of parliament."

                                        2 Inst. 533.

We may perceive, from the example of Ireland, how eager ministers
are to seize upon any settled revenue, and apply it in supporting
their own power.----Happy are the men, and happy are the people,
who grow wise by the misfortune of others. Earnestly, my dear
countrymen, do I beseech the author of all good gifts, that you may
grow wise in this manner: And, if I may be allowed to take the
liberty, I beg leave to recommend to you in general, as the best
method of obtaining wisdom, diligently to study the histories of
other countries. You will there find all the arts, that can possibly
be practiced by cunning rulers, or false patriots among yourselves,
so fully delineated, that changing names, the account would serve
for your own times.

It is pretty well known on this continent, that Ireland has,
with a regular consistence of injustice, been cruelly treated by
ministers in the article of pensions; but there are some alarming
circumstances relating to that subject, which I wish to have better
known among us.

[41]The revenue of the crown there, arises principally from the
excise granted "for pay of the army, and defraying other public
charges in defence and preservation of the kingdom"--from the
tonnage and additional poundage granted "for protecting the trade
of the kingdom at sea, and augmenting the public revenue" from the
hearth-money granted, as a "public revenue for public charges and
expences." There are some other branches of the revenue, concerning
which there is not any express appropriation of them for public
service, but which were plainly so intended.

    [41] An enquiry into the legality of the pensions on the Irish
    establishment, by Alexander M'Auley, Esq; one of the King's
    Council, &c.

Of these branches of the revenue, the crown is only a trustee for
the public. They are unalienable; they are inapplicable to any other
purposes, but those for which they were established; and therefore
are not legally chargeable with pensions.

There is another kind of revenue, which is a private revenue. This
is not limited to any public uses; but the crown has the same
property in it, that any person has in his estate. This does not
amount at the most to fifteen thousand pounds a year, probably not
to seven; and it is the only revenue that can legally be charged
with pensions. If ministers were accustomed to regard the rights
or happiness of the people, the pensions in Ireland would not
exceed the sum just mentioned: but long since have they exceeded
that limit, and in December, 1765, a motion was made in the House
of Commons in that kingdom, to address his Majesty, on the great
increase of pensions on the Irish establishment, amounting to the
sum of £.158,685 in the last two years.

Attempts have been made to gloss over these gross incroachments,
by this specious argument,--"That expending a competent part of
the public revenue in pensions, from a principle of charity or
generosity, adds to the dignity of the crown, and is, therefore,
useful to the public." To give this argument any weight, it must
appear that the pensions proceed from "charity or generosity"
only--And that it "adds to the dignity of the crown" to act directly
contrary to law.

From this conduct towards Ireland, in open violation of law, we may
easily foresee what we may expect, when a minister will have the
whole revenue of America, in his own hands, to be disposed of at his
own pleasure. For all the monies raised by the late act are to be
"applied, by virtue of warrants under the sign manual, countersigned
by the high treasurer, or any three of the commissioners of the
treasury." The "residue" indeed, is to be paid "into the receipt
of the exchequer, and to be disposed of by parliament." So that a
minister will have nothing to do but to take care that there shall
be no "residue," and he is superior to all controul.

Besides the burden of pensions in Ireland, which have enormously
encreased within these few years, almost all the offices, in that
poor kingdom, have, since the commencement of the present century,
and now are bestowed upon strangers. For though the merit of those
born there justly raises them to places of high trust, when they go
abroad, as all Europe can witness, yet he is an uncommonly lucky
Irishman, who can get a good post in his native country.

When I consider the [42]manner in which that island has been
uniformly depressed for so many years past, with this pernicious
particularity of their parliament continuing[43] as long as the
crown pleases, I am astonished to observe such a love of liberty
still animating that loyal and generous nation; and nothing can
raise higher my idea of the integrity and public spirit of the
people[44] who have preserved the sacred fire of freedom from being
extinguished though the altar, on which it burned, has been thrown
down.

    [42] In Charles II's time, the House of Commons, influenced
    by some factious demagogues, were resolved to prohibit the
    importation of Irish cattle into England. Among other arguments
    in favour of Ireland, it was insisted "That by cutting off
    almost entirely the trade between the kingdoms, all the natural
    bands of union were dissolved, and nothing remained to keep the
    Irish in their duty, but force and violence.

    "The King (says Mr. Hume in his History of England) was so
    convinced of the justice of these reasons, that he used all
    his interest to oppose the bill, and he openly declared, that
    he could not give his assent to it with a safe conscience. But
    the Commons were resolute in their purpose. And the spirit of
    tyranny, of which nations are as susceptible as individuals,
    had animated the English extremely to exert their superiority
    over their dependant state. No affair could be conducted with
    greater violence that this, by the Commons. They even went so
    far in the preamble of the bill, as to declare the importation
    of Irish cattle to be a nuisance. By this expression they
    gave scope to their passion, and at the same time, barred the
    King's prerogative, by which he might think himself intitled to
    dispense with a law so full of injustice and bad policy. The
    lords expunged the word, but as the King was sensible that no
    supply would be given by the Commons, unless they were gratified
    in all their prejudices, he was obliged both to employ his
    interest with the Peers to make the bill pass, and to give the
    Royal assent to it. He could not however forbear expressing his
    displeasure, at the jealousy entertained against him, and at
    the intention which the Commons discovered of retrenching his
    prerogative."

    This law brought great distress for sometime upon Ireland,
    but it occasioned their applying with great industry to
    manufactures, and has proved, in the issue, beneficial to that
    kingdom.

    Perhaps the same reason occasioned the "barring the King's
    prerogative" in the late act suspending the legislation of
    New-York.

    This we may be assured of, that we are as dear to his Majesty,
    as the people of Great-Britain are. We are his subjects as well
    as they, and as faithful subjects; and his Majesty has given too
    many, too constant proofs of his piety and virtue, for any man,
    to think it possible, that such a Prince can make any unjust
    distinction between such subjects. It makes no difference to
    his Majesty, whether supplies are raised in Great-Britain, or
    America: but it makes some difference, to the Commons of that
    kingdom.

    To speak plainly as becomes an honest man on such important
    occasions, all our misfortunes are owing to a lust of power
    in men of abilities and influence. This prompts them to seek
    popularity, by expedients profitable to themselves, though ever
    so destructive to their country.

    Such is the accursed nature of lawless ambition, and yet--what
    heart but melts at the thought?--Such false detestable patriots
    in every nation have led their blind confiding country, shouting
    their applauses, into the jaws of shame and ruin. May the wisdom
    and goodness of the people of Great-Britain, save them from the
    usual fate of nations.

    [43] The last Irish parliament continued thirty-three years,
    that is during all the late reign. The present parliament there,
    has continued from the beginning of this reign; and probably
    will continue to the end.

    [44] I am informed, that within these few years, a petition was
    presented to the House of Commons in Great-Britain, setting
    forth, "that herrings were imported into Ireland, from some
    foreign parts of the north so cheap, as to discourage the
    British herring fishery, and therefore praying, that some remedy
    might be applied in that behalf by parliament"--"That, upon this
    petition, the House resolved to impose a duty of two shillings
    sterling on every barrel of foreign herrings imported into
    Ireland, but afterwards dropt the affair, for fear of engaging
    in a dispute with Ireland about the right of taxing her."

    So much higher was the opinion, which the House entertained of
    the spirit of Ireland, than of that of these colonies.

    I find in the last English papers, that the resolution and
    firmness with which the people of that kingdom have lately
    asserted their freedom, have been so alarming in Great-Britain,
    that the Lord Lieutenant in his speech on the 20th of last
    October, "recommended" to the parliament, "that such provision
    may be made for securing the judges in the enjoyment of their
    offices and appointments during their good behaviour, as shall
    be thought most expedient."

    What an important concession is thus obtained by making demands
    becoming freemen, with a courage and perseverance becoming
    freemen.

In the same manner shall we unquestionably be treated, as soon as
the late taxes, laid upon us, shall make posts in the "government,"
and the "administration of justice," here, worth the attention of
persons of influence in Great Britain. We know enough already to
satisfy us of this truth. But this will not be the worst part of our
case.

The principals in all great offices will reside in England, make
some paltry allowance to deputies for doing the business here. Let
any man consider what an exhausting drain this must be upon us, when
ministers are possessed of the power of affixing what salaries
they please to posts, and he must be convinced how destructive the
late act must be. The injured kingdom, lately mentioned, can tell
us the mischiefs of absentees; and we may perceive already the same
disposition taking place with us. The government of New York has
been exercised by a deputy. That of Virginia is now held so; and
we know of a number of secretaryships, collectorships, and other
offices held in the same manner.

True it is, that if the people of Great-Britain were not too much
blinded by the passions, that have been artfully excited in their
breasts, against their dutiful children, the colonists, these
considerations would be nearly as alarming to them as to us. The
influence of the crown was thought, by wise men many years ago, too
great, by reason of the multitude of pensions and places bestowed by
it; these have vastly increased since[45] and perhaps it would be no
difficult matter to prove that the people have decreased.

    [45] One of the reasons urged by that great and honest statesman,
    Sir William Temple, to Charles II. in his famous remonstrance to
    dissuade him from aiming at arbitrary power, was, the "King had
    few offices to bestow."

                            Hume's Hist. of England.

    "Though the wings of prerogative have been clipt, the influence of
    the crown is greater than ever it was in any period of our history.
    For when we consider in how many burroughs the government has
    the voters at command, when we consider the vast body of persons
    employed in the collection of the revenue in every part of the
    kingdom, the inconceivable number of placemen, and candidates for
    places in the customs, in the excise, in the post-office, in the
    dock-yards, in the ordnance, in the salt-office, in the stamps,
    in the navy and victualling offices, and in a variety of other
    departments; when we consider again the extensive influence of the
    money corporations, subscription jobbers, and contractors: the
    endless dependance created by the obligations conferred on the
    bulk of the gentlemen's families throughout the kingdom, who have
    relations preferred in our navy and numerous standing army; when, I
    say, we consider how wide, how binding, a dependance on the crown
    is created by the above enumerated particulars; and the great, the
    enormous weight and influence which the crown derives from this
    extensive dependance upon its favour and power; any lord in waiting,
    any lord of the bedchamber, any man may be appointed minister."

    "A doctrine to this effect is said to have been the advice of L----
    H----."

                                   Late News papers.

Surely, therefore, those who wish the welfare of their country,
ought seriously to reflect what may be the consequence of such a new
creation of offices, in the disposal of the crown. The army, the
administration of justice, and the civil government here, with such
salaries as the crown shall please to annex, will extend ministerial
influence, as much beyond its former bounds, as the late war did the
British dominions.

But whatever the people of Great-Britain may think on this occasion,
I hope the people of these colonies will unanimously join in
this sentiment, that the late act of parliament is injurious to
their liberty; and that this sentiment will unite them in a firm
opposition to it, in the same manner as the dread of the Stamp-act
did.

Some persons may imagine the sums to be raised by it, are but small,
and therefore may be inclined to acquiesce under it. A conduct
more dangerous to freedom, as before has been observed, can never
be adopted. Nothing is wanted at home but a precedent, the force
of which shall be established, by the tacit submission of the
colonies. With what zeal was the statute erecting the post-office,
and another relating to the recovery of debts in America, urged and
tortured, as precedents in the support of the Stamp-act, though
wholly inapplicable. If the parliament succeeds in this attempt,
other statutes will impose other duties. Instead of taxing ourselves
as we have been accustomed to do from the first settlement of these
provinces; all our useful taxes will be converted into parliamentary
taxes on our importations; and thus the parliament will levy upon
us such sums of money as they chuse to take, without any other
limitation than their pleasure.

We know how much labour and care have been bestowed by these
colonies, in laying taxes in such a manner, that they should be
most easy to the people, by being laid on the proper articles; most
equal, by being proportioned to every man's circumstances; and
cheapest by the method directed for collecting them.

But parliamentary taxes will be laid on us without any
consideration, whether there is any eassier mode. The only point
regarded will be, the certainty of levying the taxes, and not the
convenience of the people, on whom they are to be levied, and
therefore all statutes on this head will be such as will be most
likely, according to the favourite phrase, "to execute themselves."

Taxes in every free state have been, and ought to be as exactly
proportioned, as is possible, to the abilities of those who are to
pay them. They cannot otherwise be just. Even a Hottentot could
comprehend the unreasonableness, of making a poor man pay as much
for defending the property of a rich man, as the rich man pays
himself.

Let any person look into the late act of parliament, and he will
immediately perceive, that the immense estates of Lord Fairfax, Lord
Baltimore,[46] and our proprietors, which are amongst "his Majesty's
other dominions" to be "defended, protected and secured" by that act
will not pay a single farthing of the duties thereby imposed, except
Lord Fairfax wants some of his windows glazed. Lord Baltimore, and
our proprietors are quite secure, as they live in England.

    [46] The people of Maryland and Pennsylvania have been engaged
    in the warmest disputes, in order to obtain an equal and just
    taxation of their proprietors estates; but the late act does
    more for these proprietors than they themselves would venture to
    demand. It totally exempts them from taxation.

I mention these particular cases as striking instances, how far the
late act is a deviation from that principle of justice, which has so
constantly distinguished our own laws on this continent.

The third consideration with our continental assemblies in laying
taxes has been the method of collecting them. This has been done by
a few officers under the inspection of the respective assemblies,
with moderate allowances. No more was raised from the subject, than
was used for the intended purposes. But by the late act, a minister
may appoint as many officers as he pleases for collecting the taxes;
may assign them what salaries he thinks "adequate" and they are to
be subject to no inspection but his own.

In short, if the late act of parliament takes effect, these colonies
must dwindle down into "common corporations," as their enemies in
the debates concerning the repeal of the Stamp-act, strenuously
insisted they were: and it is not improbable, that some future
historians will thus record our fall.

"The eighth year of this reign was distinguished by a very memorable
event, the American colonies then submitting for the first time, to
be taxed by the British parliament. An attempt of this kind had been
made two years before, but was defeated by the vigorous exertions
of the several provinces in defence of their liberties. Their
behaviour on that occasion rendered their name very celebrated for
a short time all over Europe; all states being extremely attentive
to a dispute between Great-Britain and so considerable a part of
her dominions. For as she was thought to be grown too powerful by
the successful conclusion of the late war she had been engaged
in, it was hoped by many, that as it had happened before to other
kingdoms, civil discords would afford opportunities of revenging
all the injuries supposed to be received from her. However the
cause of dissention was removed by a repeal of the statute, that
had given offense. This affair rendered the submissive conduct of
the colonies so soon after, the more extraordinary; there being no
difference between the modes of taxation which they opposed, and
that to which they submitted, but this, that by the first, they were
to be continually reminded that they were taxed, by certain marks
stampt on every piece of paper or parchment, they used. The authors
of that statute triumphed greatly on this conduct of the colonies,
and insisted that if the people of Great-Britain, had persisted
in enforcing it, the Americans would have been in a few months so
fatigued with the efforts of patriotism, that they would quickly
have yielded obedience.

"Certain it is, that though they had before their eyes so many
illustrious examples in their mother country, of the constant
success attending firmness and perseverance in opposition to
dangerous encroachments on liberty, yet they quietly gave up a
point of the last importance. From thence the decline of their
freedom began, and its decay was extremely rapid; for as money
was always raised upon them by the parliament, their assemblies
grew immediately useless and in a short time contemptible; and
in less than one hundred years, the people sunk down into that
tameness and supineness of spirit by which they still continue to be
distinguished."

     _Et majores vestros et posteros cogitate._

     Remember your ancestors and your posterity.

                                           A FARMER.



LETTER XI.


  _Beloved Countrymen,_

I have several times, in the course of these letters, mentioned the
late act of parliament, as being the foundation of future measures
injurious to these colonies; and the belief of this truth I wish to
prevail, because I think it necessary to our safety.

A perpetual jealousy respecting liberty, is absolutely requisite
in all free states. The very texture of their constitution, in
mixt governments, demands it. For the cautions with which power is
distributed among the several orders, imply, that each has that
share which is proper for the general welfare, and therefore, that
any further imposition mull be pernicious. [47]Machiavel employs
a whole chapter in his discourses, to prove that a state, to be
long lived, must be frequently corrected, and reduced to its first
principles. But of all states that have existed, there never was
any, in which this jealousy could be more proper than in these
colonies. For the government here is not only mixt, but dependant,
which circumstance occasions a peculiarity in its form, of a very
delicate nature.

    [47] Machiavel's discourses. Book 3, chap. 1.

Two reasons induce me to desire, that this spirit of apprehension
may be always kept up among us, in its utmost vigilance. The first
is this, that as the happiness of these provinces indubitably
consists in their connection with Great-Britain, any separation
between them is less likely to be occasioned by civil discords, if
every disgusting measure is opposed singly, and while it is new: for
in this manner of proceeding, every such measure is most likely to
be rectified. On the other hand, oppressions and dissatisfactions
being permitted to accumulate--if ever the governed throw off the
load, they will do more. A people does not reform with moderation.
The rights of the subject therefore cannot be too often considered,
explained, or asserted: and whoever attempts to do this, shews
himself, whatever may be the rash and peevish reflections of
pretended wisdom, and pretended duty, a friend to those who
injudiciously exercise their power, as well as to them, over whom it
is so exercised.

Had all the points of prerogative claimed by Charles I. been
separately contested and settled in preceding reigns, his fate
would in all probability have been very different, and the people
would have been content with that liberty which is compatible with
regal authority. But[48] he thought, it would be as dangerous for
him to give up the powers which at any time had been by usurpation
exercised by the crown, as those that were legally vested in it.
This produced an equal excess on the part of the people. For when
their passions were excited by multiplied grievances, they thought
it would be as dangerous for them, to allow the powers that were
legally vested in the crown, as those which at any time had been by
usurpation exercised by it. Acts, that might by themselves have been
upon many considerations excused or extenuated, derived a contagious
malignancy and odium from other acts, with which they were
connected. They were not regarded according to the simple force of
each, but as parts of a system of oppression. Every one therefore,
however small in itself, being alarming, as an additional evidence
of tyrannical designs. It was in vain for prudent and moderate men
to insist, that there was no necessity to abolish royalty. Nothing
less than the utter destruction of monarchy, could satisfy those
who had suffered, and thought they had reason to believe, they
always should suffer under it.

    [48] The author is sensible that this is putting the gentlest
    construction on Charles' conduct; and that is one reason why he
    chuses it. Allowance ought to be made for the errors of those men,
    who are acknowledged to have been possessed of many virtues. The
    education of that unhappy Prince, and his confidence in men not so
    good and wise as himself, had probably filled him with mistaken
    notions of his own authority, and of the consequences that would
    attend concessions of any kind to a people, who were represented
    to him as aiming at too much power.

The consequences of these mutual distrusts are well known: But there
is no other people mentioned in history, that I recollect, who have
been so constantly watchful of their liberty, and so successful in
their struggles for it, as the English. This consideration leads me
to the second reason, why I "desire that the spirit of apprehension
may be always kept up among us in its utmost vigilance."

The first principles of government are to be looked for in human
nature. Some of the best writers have asserted, and it seems with
good reason, that "government is founded on [49]opinion."

    [49] "Opinion is of two kinds, viz. opinion of interest, and
    opinion of right. By opinion of interest, I chiefly understand,
    the sense of public advantage which is reaped from government;
    together with the persuasion, that the particular government
    which is established, is equally advantageous with any other,
    that could be easily settled."

    "Right is of two kinds, right to power, and right to property.
    What prevalence opinion of the first kind has over mankind may
    easily be understood, by observing the attachment which all
    nations have to their ancient government, and even to those
    names which have had the sanction of antiquity. Antiquity always
    begets the opinion of right." "It is sufficiently understood,
    that the opinion of right to property, is of the greatest moment
    in all matters of government."

                                      Hume's Essays.

Custom undoubtedly has a mighty force in producing opinion, and
reigns in nothing more arbitrarily than in public affairs. It
gradually reconciles us to objects even of dread and detestation;
and I cannot but think these lines of Mr. Pope, as applicable to
vice in politics, as to vice in ethics.

    'Vice is a monster of so horrid mien,
    As to be hated, needs but to be seen;
    Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
    We first endure, then pity, then embrace.'

When an act injurious to freedom has been once done, and the
people bear it, the repetition of it is most likely to meet
with submission. For as the mischief of the one was found to be
tolerable, they will hope that of the second will prove so too;
and they will not regard the infamy of the last, because they are
stained with that of the first.

Indeed, nations in general, are not apt to think until they feel;
and therefore nations in general have lost their liberty: For as
violations of the rights of the governed, are commonly not only
specious,[50] but small at the beginning, they spread over the
multitude in such a manner, as to touch individuals but slightly.
Thus they are disregarded.[51] The power or profit that arises
from these violations, centering in few persons, is to them
considerable. For this reason the governors having in view their
particular purposes, successively preserve an uniformity of conduct
for attaining them. They regularly increase and multiply the first
injuries, till at length the inattentive people are compelled to
perceive the heaviness of their burdens.--They begin to complain and
enquire--but too late.--They find their oppressors so strengthened
by success, and themselves so entangled in examples of express
authority on the part of their rulers, and of tacit recognition
on their own part, that they are quite confounded: For millions
entertain no other idea of the legality of power, than that it is
founded on the exercise of power. They voluntarily fatten their
chains, by adopting a pusillanimous opinion, "that there will be
too much danger in attempting a remedy," or another opinion no less
fatal, "that the government has a right to treat them as it does."
They then seek a wretched relief for their minds, by persuading
themselves, that to yield their obedience is to discharge their
duty. The deplorable poverty of spirit, that prostrates all the
dignity bestowed by divine providence on our nature--of course
succeeds.

    [50] _Omnia mala exampla ex bonis initiis orta sunt._

                          Sallust. Bell. Cat. S. 50.


    [51] "The Republic is always attacked with greater vigour than it
    is defended, for the audacious and profligate, prompted by their
    natural enmity to it, are easily impelled to act upon the least
    nod of their leaders; whereas the honest, I know not why, are
    generally slow and unwilling to stir; and neglecting always the
    beginnings of things, are never roused to exert themselves, but
    by the last necessity; so that through irresolution and delay,
    when they would be glad to compound at last for their quiet, at
    the expence even of their honour, they commonly lose them both."

                         Cicero's Orat. for Sextius.

    Such were the sentiments of this great and excellent man whose vast
    abilities, and the calamities of the time in which he lived, enabled
    him, by mournful experience, to form a just judgement on the conduct
    of the friends and enemies of liberty.

From these reflections I conclude, that every free State should
incessantly watch, and instantly take alarm on any condition being
made to the power exercised over them, innumerable instances might
be produced to shew, from what slight beginnings the most extensive
consequences have flowed: but I shall select two only from the
history of England.

Henry the seventh was the first monarch of that kingdom, who
established a standing body of armed men. This was a band of
50 archers, called yeomen of the guard: And this institution,
notwithstanding the smallness of the number, was, to prevent
discontent, [52]"disguised under the pretence of majesty and
grandeur." In 1684, the standing forces were so much augmented, that
Rapin says--"The King, in order to make his people fully sensible
of their new slavery, affected to muster his troops, which amounted
to 4000 well armed and disciplined men." I think our army, at this
time, consists of more than seventy regiments.

    [52] Rapin's History of England.

The method of taxing by excise was first introduced amidst the
convulsions of civil wars. Extreme necessity was pretended, and
its short continuance promised. After the restoration, an excise
upon beer, ale and other liquors, was granted to the[53] King, one
half in fee, the other for life, as an equivalent for the court of
wards. Upon James the second's accession, the parliament[54] gave
him the first excise, with an additional duty on wine, tobacco,
and some other things. Since the revolution it has been extended
to salt, candles, leather, hides, hops, soap, paper, paste-board,
mill-boards, scaleboards, vellum, parchment, starch, silks,
calicoes, linens, stuffs, printed, stained, &c. wire, wrought plate,
coffee, tea, chocolate, &c.

    [53] 12 Car. II. Chap. 23, and 24.

    [54] James II. Chap. 1, and 4.

Thus a standing army and excise have, from the first slender
origins, tho' always hated, always feared, always opposed, at length
swelled up to their vast present bulk.

These facts are sufficient to support what I have said. 'Tis true
that all the mischiefs apprehended by our ancestors from a standing
army and excise, have not yet happened: but it does not follow
from thence, that they will not happen. The inside of a house may
catch fire, and the most valuable apartments be ruined, before the
flames burst out. The question in these cases is not, what evil has
actually attended particular measures--but what evil, in the nature
of things, is likely to attend them. Certain circumstances may for
some time delay effects, that were reasonably expected, and that
must ensue. There was a long period, after the Romans had prorogued
the command to [55]Q. Publilius Philo, before that example destroyed
their liberty. All our kings, from the revolution to the present
reign have been foreigners. Their ministers generally continued but
a short time in authority;[56] and they themselves were mild and
virtuous princes.

    [55] In the year of the city 428, "_Duo singularia hæc ei viro
    primum contigere; prorogatio imperii non ame in ullo fucto et acta
    honore triumphus_." Liv. B. 8. Chap. 23. 26.

    "Had the rest of the Roman citizens imitated the example of L.
    Quintus, who refused to have his consulship continued to him,
    they had never admitted that custom of proroguing magistrates,
    and then the prolongation of their commands, the army had never
    been introduced, which very thing was at length the ruin of that
    commonwealth."

             Machiavel's discourses, B. 3. Chap. 24.


    [56] I don't know but it may be said with a good deal of
    reason, that a quick rotation of ministers is very desirable in
    Great-Britain. A minister there has a vast store of materials
    to work with. Long administrations are rather favourable to the
    reputation of a people abroad, than to their liberty.

A bold, ambitious Prince, possessed of great abilities, firmly fixed
in the throne by descent, served by ministers like himself, and
rendered either venerable or terrible by the glory of his successes,
may execute what his predecessors did not dare to attempt. Henry
IV. tottered in his seat during his whole reign. Henry V. drew the
strength of the kingdom into France, to carry on his wars there,
and left the Commons at home, protesting, "that the people were not
bound to serve out of the realm."

It is true, that a strong spirit of liberty subsists at present
in Great-Britain, but what reliance is to be placed in the temper
of a people, when the prince is possessed of an unconstitutional
power, our own history can sufficiently inform us. When Charles II.
had strengthened himself by the return of the garrison of Tangier,
"England (says Rapin) saw on a sudden an amazing revolution; saw
herself stripped of all her rights and privileges, excepting
such as the King should vouchsafe to grant her; and what is more
astonishing, the English themselves delivered up these very rights
and privileges to Charles II. which they had so passionately, and,
if I may say it, furiously defended against the designs of Charles
I." This happened only thirty-six years after this last prince had
been beheaded.

Some persons are of opinion, that liberty is not violated, but by
such open acts of force; but they seem to be greatly mistaken. I
could mention a period within these forty years, when almost as
great a change of disposition was produced by the secret measures of
a long administration, as by Charles's violence. Liberty, perhaps
is never exposed to so much danger, as when the people believe there
is the least; for it may be subverted, and yet they not think so.

Public-disgusting acts are seldom practised by the ambitious,
at the beginning of their designs. Such conduct silences and
discourages the weak, and the wicked, who would otherways have been
their advocates or accomplices. It is of great consequence, to
allow those, who, upon any account, are inclined to favour them,
something specious to say in their defence. The power may be fully
established, though it would not be safe for them to do whatever
they please. For there are things, which, at some times, even slaves
will not bear. Julius Cæsar and Oliver Cromwell did not dare to
assume the title of King. The grand Seignior dares not lay a new
tax. The King of France dares not be a protestant. Certain popular
points may be left untouched, and yet freedom be extinguished. The
commonality of Venice imagine themselves free, because they are
permitted to do, what they ought not. But I quit a subject, that
would lead me too far from my purpose.

By the late act of parliament, taxes are to be levied upon us, for
"defraying the charge of the administration of justice, the support
of civil government--and the expences of defending his Majesty's
dominions in America."

If any man doubts what ought to be the conduct of these colonies on
this occasion, I would ask them these questions.

Has not the parliament expressly avowed their intention of raising
money from us for certain purposes? Is not this scheme popular in
Great-Britain? Will the taxes, imposed by the late act, answer
those purposes? If it will, must it not take an immense sum from
us? If it will not, is it to be expected, that the parliament will
not fully execute their intention, when it is pleasing at home,
and not opposed here? Must not this be done by imposing new taxes?
Will not every addition, thus made to our taxes, be an addition to
the power of the British legislature, by increasing the number of
officers employed in the collection? Will not every additional tax
therefore render it more difficult to abrogate any of them? When
a branch of revenue is once established, does it not appear to
many people invidious and undutiful, to attempt to abolish it? If
taxes, sufficient to accomplish the intention of the Parliament, are
imposed by the Parliament, what taxes will remain to be imposed by
our assemblies? If no material taxes remain to be imposed by them,
what must become of them, and the people they represent?

[57] "If any person considers, these things, and yet not thinks our
liberties are in danger, I wonder at that person's security."

    [57] Demosthenes's 2d Philippic.

One other argument is to be added, which, by itself, I hope, will be
sufficient to convince the most incredulous man on this continent,
that the late act of Parliament is only designed to be a precedent,
whereon the future vassalage of these colonies may be established.

Every duty thereby laid on articles of British manufacture, is laid
on some commodity upon the exportation of which from Great-Britain,
a drawback is payable. Those drawbacks in most of the articles, are
exactly double to the duties given by the late act. The Parliament
therefore might in half a dozen lines have raised much more money
only by stopping the drawbacks in the hands of the officers at home,
on exportation to these colonies, than by this solemn imposition
of taxes upon us, to be collected here. Probably, the artful
contrivers of this act formed it in this manner, in order to reserve
to themselves, in case of any objections being made to it, this
specious pretence--"That the drawbacks are gifts to the colonies;
and that the act only lessens those gifts." But the truth is, that
the drawbacks are intended for the encouragement and promotion of
British manufactures and commerce, and are allowed on exportation
to any foreign parts, as well as on exportation to these provinces.
Besides, care has been taken to slide into the act[58] some articles
on which there are no drawbacks. However, the whole duties laid by
the late act on all the articles therein specified, are so small,
that they will not amount to as much as the drawbacks which are
allowed on part of them only. If, therefore, the sum to be obtained
by the late act had been the sole object in forming it, there would
not have been any occasion for the "Commons of Great-Britain to give
and grant to his Majesty, rates and duties for raising a revenue in
his Majesty's dominions in America, for making a more certain and
adequate provision for defraying the charge of the administration
of justice, the support of civil government, and the expences of
defending the said dominions"----Nor would there have been any
occasion for an [59]expensive board of commissioners, and all the
other new charges to which we are made liable.

    [58] Though duties by the late act are laid on some articles, on
    which no drawbacks are allowed, yet the duties imposed by the act,
    are so small, in comparison with the drawbacks that are allowed,
    that all the duties together will not amount to so much as the
    drawbacks.

    [59] The expence of this board, I am informed, is between four
    and five thousand pounds sterling a year. The establishment of
    officers, for collecting the revenue of America, amounted before
    to seven thousand six hundred pounds per annum: and yet, says the
    author of "The regulation of the colonies," the whole remittance
    from all the taxes in the colonies, at an average of thirty years,
    has not amounted to one thousand nine hundred pounds a year, and
    in that time, seven or eight hundred pounds per annum only, have
    been remitted from North-America.

The smallness of the revenue arising from the duties in America,
demonstrated that they were intended only as regulations of trade;
and can any person be so blind to truth, so dull of apprehension in
a matter of unspeakable importance to his country, as to imagine,
that the board of commissioners lately established at such a charge,
is instituted to assist in collecting one thousand nine hundred
pounds a year, or the trifling duties imposed by the late act?
Surely every man on this continent must perceive, that they are
established for the care of a new system of revenue, which is but
now begun.

Upon the whole, for my part, I regard the late act as an experiment
made of our disposition. It is a bird sent over the waters, to
discover, whether the waves, that lately agitated this part of the
world with such violence, are yet subsided. If this adventurer
gets footing here, we shall quickly be convinced, that it is not
a phenix; for we shall soon see it followed by others of the same
kind. We shall find it rather to be of the [60]breed described by the
poet--

     "_Infelix vates._"

     A direful foreteller of future calamities.

                                           A FARMER.

    [60] "Dira cælæno,"             Virgil, Æneid 2.



LETTER XII.


_Beloved Countrymen_,

Some states have lost their liberty by particular accidents; but
this calamity is generally owing to the decay of virtue. A people
is travelling fast to destruction, when individuals consider their
interests as distinct from those of the public. Such notions are
fatal to their country, and to themselves. Yet how many are there so
weak and sordid as to think they perform all the offices of life,
if they earnestly endeavour to increase their own wealth, power,
and credit, without the least regard for the society, under the
protection of which they live; who, if they can make an immediate
profit to themselves, by lending their assistance to those, whose
projects plainly tend to the injury of their country, rejoice in
their dexterity, and believe themselves intitled to the character
of able politicians. Miserable men! of whom it is hard to say,
whether they ought to be most the objects of pity or contempt, but
whose opinions are certainly as detestable as their practices are
destructive.

Though I always reflect with a high pleasure on the integrity and
understanding of my countrymen, which, joined with a pure and
humble devotion to the great and gracious author of every blessing
they enjoy, will, I hope, ensure to them, and their posterity,
all temporal and eternal happiness; yet when I consider, that in
every age and country there have been bad men, my heart, at this
threatening period, is so full of apprehension, as not to permit me
to believe, but that there may be some on this continent, against
whom you ought to be upon your guard. Men, who either [61]hold
or expect to hold certain advantages by setting examples of
servility to their countrymen--Men who trained to the employment,
or self-taught by a natural versatility of genius, serve as decoys
for drawing the innocent and unwary into snares. It is not to be
doubted but that such men will diligently bestir themselves, on this
and every like occasion, to spread the infection of their meanness
as far as they can. On the plans they have adopted, this is their
course. This is the method to recommend themselves to their patrons.

    [61] It is not intended by these words to throw any reflection
    upon gentlemen, because they are possessed of offices; for
    many of them are certainly men of virtue, and lovers of their
    country. But supposed obligations of gratitude and honour may
    induce them to be silent. Whether these obligations ought to
    be regarded or not, is not so much to be considered by others,
    in the judgment they form of these gentlemen, as whether
    they think they ought to be regarded. Perhaps, therefore
    we shall act in the properest manner towards them, if we
    neither reproach nor imitate them. The persons meant in this
    letter, are the base-spirited wretches, who may endeavor to
    distinguish themselves, by their sordid zeal, in defending
    and promoting measures, which they know, beyond all question,
    to be destructive to the just rights and true interests of
    their country. It is scarcely possible, to speak of these men
    with any degree of patience. It is scarcely possible to speak
    of them with any degree of propriety. For no words can truly
    describe their guilt, and meanness. But every honest man, on
    their being mentioned, will feel what cannot be expressed.
    If their wickedness did not blind them, they might perceive,
    along the coast of these colonies, many skeletons of wretched
    ambition; who after distinguishing themselves, in support of the
    Stamp-act, by a couragious contempt of their country, and of
    justice, have been left to linger out their miserable existence,
    without a government, collectorship, secretaryship, or any
    other commission to console them, as well as it could for loss
    of virtue and reputation--while numberless offices have been
    bestowed in these colonies, on people from Great-Britain, and
    new ones are continually invented to be thus bestowed. As a few
    great prizes are put into a lottery to tempt multitudes to lose,
    so here and there an American has been raised to a good post--

              "_Apparent rari nantes in gurgite vasto._"

    Mr. Grenville, indeed, in order to recommend the Stamp-act,
    had the unequalled generosity, to pour down a golden shower
    of offices upon Americans; and yet these ungrateful colonies
    did not thank Mr. Grenville for shewing his kindness to their
    countrymen, nor them for accepting it. How must that great
    statesman have been surprised to find, that the unpolished
    colonists could not be reconciled to infamy, by treachery?
    Such a bountiful disposition towards us never appeared in any
    minister before him, and probably never will appear again. For
    it is evident that such a system of policy is to be established
    on this continent, as, in a short time, is to render it utterly
    unnecessary to use the least art in order to conciliate our
    approbation of any measures. Some of our countrymen may be
    employed to fix chains upon us; but they will never be permitted
    to hold them afterwards. So that the utmost that any of them
    can expect, is only a temporary provision, that may expire in
    their own time; but which, they may be assured, will preclude
    their children from having any consideration paid to them. The
    natives of America, will sink into total neglect and contempt,
    the moment that their country loses the constitutional powers
    she now possesses. Most sincerely do I wish and pray, that every
    one of us may be convinced of this great truth, that industry
    and integrity are the "paths of pleasantness, which lead to
    happiness."

They act consistently, in a bad cause.

They run well in a mean race.

From them we shall learn, how pleasant and profitable a thing it
is, to be, for our submissive behaviour, well spoken of in St.
James's, or St. Stephen's; at Guildhall, or the Royal Exchange.
Specious fallacies will be drest up with all the arts of delusion,
to persuade one colony to distinguish herself from another, by
unbecoming condescensions, which will serve the ambitious purpose of
great men at home, and therefore will be thought by them, to entitle
their assistants in obtaining them, to considerable rewards.

Our fears will be excited; our hopes will be awakened. It will be
insinuated to us with a plausible affectation of wisdom and concern,
how prudent it is to please the powerful--how dangerous to provoke
them--and then comes in the perpetual incantation, that freezes up
every generous purpose of the soul, in cold--inactive--expectation
"that if there is any request to be made, compliance will obtain a
favourable attention."

Our vigilance and our union are success and safety. Our negligence
and our division are distress and death. They are worse--they are
shame and slavery.

Let us equally shun the benumbing stillness of overweening sloth,
and the feverish activity of that ill-informed zeal, which buries
itself in maintaining little, mean, and narrow opinions. Let us,
with a truly wise generosity and charity, banish and discourage
all illiberal distinctions, which may arise from differences in
situation, forms of government, or modes of religion. Let us
consider ourselves as men--Freemen--Christian men--separated from
the rest of the world, and firmly bound together by the same rights,
interests, and dangers. Let these keep our attention inflexibly
fixed on the great objects, which we must continually regard, in
order to preserve those rights, to promote those interests, and to
avert those dangers.

Let these truths be indelibly impressed on our minds--that we cannot
be happy without being free--that we cannot be free without being
secure in our property--that we cannot be secure in our property,
if, without our consent, others may, as by right, take it away--that
taxes imposed on us by parliament, do thus take it away--that
duties laid for the sole purposes of raising money, are taxes--that
attempts to lay such duties should be instantly and firmly
opposed--that this opposition can never be effectual, unless it is
the united effort of these provinces--that, therefore, benevolence
of temper toward each other, and unanimity of counsels are essential
to the welfare of the whole--and lastly, that, for this reason,
every man amongst us, who, in any manner, would encourage either
dissention, diffidence, or indifference between these colonies, is
an enemy to himself and to his country.

The belief of these truths, I verily think, my countrymen, is
indispensably necessary to your happiness. I beseech you, therefore,
[62]"Teach them diligently unto your children, and talk of them when
you sit in your houses, and when you walk by the way, and when you
lie down, and when you rise up."

    [62] Deut. vi. 7.

What have these colonies to ask, while they continue free? Or
what have they to dread, but insidious attempts to subvert their
freedom? Their prosperity does not depend on ministerial favours
doled out to particular provinces. They form one political body,
of which each colony is a member. Their happiness is founded on
their constitution; and is to be promoted by preserving that
constitution in unabated vigour throughout every part. A spot, a
speck of decay, however small the limb on which it appears, and
however remote it may seem from the vitals, should be alarming.
We have all the rights requisite for our prosperity. The legal
authority of Great-Britain may indeed lay hard restrictions upon
us; but, like the spear of Telephus, it will cure as well as wound.
Her unkindness will instruct and compel us, after some time, to
discover, in our industry and frugality, surprising remedies--if
our rights continue inviolated. For as long as the products of
our labours and the rewards of our care, can properly be called
our own, so long will it be worth our while to be industrious
and frugal. But if when we plow--sow--reap--gather--and thresh,
we find, that we plow--sow--reap--gather--and thresh for others,
whose pleasure is to be the sole limitation, how much they shall
take, and how much they shall leave, why should we repeat the
unprofitable toil? Horses and oxen are content with that portion
of the fruits of their work, which their owners assign to them, in
order to keep them strong enough to raise successive crops; but
even these beasts will not submit to draw for their masters, until
they are subdued with whips and goads. Let us take care of our
rights, and we therein take care of our property. "Slavery is ever
preceded by sleep."[63] Individuals may be dependant on ministers,
if they please. States should scorn it----And, if you are not
wanting to yourselves, you will have a proper regard paid you by
those, to whom if you are not respectable, you will infallibly be
contemptible. But if we have already forgot the reasons that urged
us, with unexampled unanimity, to exert ourselves two years ago;
if our zeal for the public good is worn out before the homespun
cloaths which it caused us to have made--if our resolutions are so
faint, as by our present conduct to condemn our own late successful
example----if we are not affected by any reverence for the memory of
our ancestors, who transmitted to us that freedom in which they had
been blest----if we are not animated by any regard for posterity,
to whom, by the most sacred obligations, we are bound to deliver
down the invaluable inheritance--Then, indeed, any minister--or any
tool of a minister--or any creature of a tool of a minister--or any
lower [64]instrument of administration, if lower there may be, is a
personage, whom it may be dangerous to offend.

    [63] Montesquieu's Spirit of Laws, B. 14. C. 13.

    [64] "_Instrumenta regni._" Tacitus An. b. 12. s. 66.

    If any person shall imagine that he discovers in these letters
    the least disaffection towards our most excellent Sovereign, and
    the parliament of Great-Britain; or the least dislike to the
    dependance of these colonies on that kingdom, I beg that such
    person will not form any judgment on particular expressions, but
    will consider the tenour of all the letters taken together. In
    that case, I flatter myself that every unprejudiced reader will
    be convinced, that the true interests of Great-Britain are as
    dear to me as they ought to be to every good subject.

    If I am an Enthusiast in anything, it is in my zeal for
    the perpetual dependance of these colonies on their
    mother-country.--A dependance founded on mutual benefits, the
    continuance of which can be secured only by mutual affections.
    Therefore it is, that with extreme apprehension I view the
    smallest seeds of discontent, which are unwarily scattered
    abroad. Fifty or sixty years will make astonishing alterations
    in these colonies; and this consideration should render it the
    business of Great Britain more and more to cultivate our good
    dispositions towards her: but the misfortune is, that those
    great men, who are wrestling for power at home, think themselves
    very slightly interested in the prosperity of their country
    fifty or sixty years hence; but are deeply concerned in blowing
    up a popular clamour for supposed immediate advantages.

    For my part, I regard Great-Britain as a bulwark happily fixed
    between these colonies and the powerful nations of Europe.
    That kingdom is our advanced post or fortification, which
    remaining safe, we under its protection enjoying peace, may
    diffuse the blessings of religion, science, and liberty, thro'
    remote wildernesses. It is, therefore, incontestibly our duty
    and our interest, to support the strength of Great Britain.
    When, confiding in that strength, she begins to forget from
    whence it arose, it will be an easy thing to shew the source.
    She may readily be reminded of the loud alarm spread among her
    merchants and tradesmen, by the universal association of these
    colonies, at the time of the Stamp-act, not to import any of
    her manufactures.----In the year 1718, the Russians and Swedes,
    entered into an agreement, not to suffer Great-Britain to export
    any naval stores from their dominions, but in Russian or Swedish
    ships, and at their own prices. Great-Britain was distressed.
    Pitch and tar rose to three pounds a barrel. At length she
    thought of getting these articles from the colonies; and the
    attempt succeeding, they fell down to fifteen shillings. In
    the year 1756, Great Britain was threatened with an invasion.
    An easterly wind blowing for six weeks, she could not man
    her fleet, and the whole nation was thrown into the utmost
    consternation. The wind changed. The American ships arrived.
    The fleet sailed in ten or fifteen days. There are some other
    reflections on this subject worthy of the most deliberate
    attention of the British parliament; but they are of such a
    nature, I do not chuse to mention them publicly. I thought I
    discharged my duty to my country, taking the liberty, in the
    year 1765, while the Stamp-Act was in suspense, of writing my
    sentiments to a man of the greatest influence at home, who
    afterwards distinguished himself by espousing our cause, in the
    debates concerning the repeal of that act.

I shall be extremely sorry if any man mistakes my meaning in any
thing I have said. Officers employed by the crown, are, while
according to the laws they conduct themselves, entitled to legal
obedience and sincere respect. These it is a duty to render them,
and these no good or prudent person will withhold. But when these
officers, thro' rashness or design, endeavour to enlarge their
authority beyond its due limits, and expect improper concessions
to be made to them, from regard for the employments they bear,
their attempts should be considered as equal injuries to the crown
and people, and should be courageously and constantly opposed. To
suffer our ideas to be confounded by names, on such occasions, would
certainly be an inexcusable weakness, and probably, an irremediable
error.

We have reason to believe, that several of his Majesty's present
ministers are good men, and friends to our country; and it seems
not unlikely, that by a particular concurrence of events, we have
been treated a little more severely than they wished we should
be. They might not think it prudent to stem a torrent. But what
is the difference to us, whether arbitrary acts take their rise
from ministers, or are permitted by them? Ought any point to be
allowed to a good[65] minister, that should be denied to a bad one?
The mortality of ministers is a very frail mortality. A * * * may
succeed a Shelburne--a * * * may succeed a Conway.

    [65] "Ubi imperium ad ignaros aut minus bonos pervenit; novum
    illud exemplum, ad dignis et idoneis, ad indignos et non idoneos
    transfertur."

                              Sall. Bed. Cat. s. 50.


We find a new kind of minister lately spoken of at home----"The
minister of the house of Commons." The term seems to have particular
propriety when referred to these colonies, with a different meaning
annexed to it, from that in which it is taken there. By the word
"minister" we may understand not only a servant of the crown, but a
man of influence among the Commons, who regard themselves as having
a share of the sovereignty over us. The minister of the house may,
in a point respecting the colonies, be so strong, that the minister
of the crown in the house, if he is a distinct person, may not
chuse, even where his sentiments are favourable to us, to come to a
pitched battle upon our account. For tho' I have the highest opinion
of the deference of the house for the King's minister; yet he may
be so good natured as not to put it to the test, except it be for
the mere and immediate profit of his master or himself.

But whatever kind of minister he is, that attempts to innovate a
single iota in the privileges of these colonies, him I hope you will
undauntedly oppose, and that you will never suffer yourselves to be
either cheated or frightened into any unworthy obsequiousness. On
such emergencies you may surely without presumption believe that
ALMIGHTY GOD himself will look down upon your righteous contest with
gracious approbation. You will be a "Band of brother's" cemented by
the dearest ties--and strengthened with inconceivable supplies of
force and constancy, by that sympathetic ardour which animates good
men, confederated in a good cause. Your honour and welfare will be,
as they now are, most intimately concerned; and besides----you are
assigned by Divine Providence, in the appointed order of things,
the protectors of unborn ages, whose fate depends upon your virtue.
Whether they shall arise the noble and indisputable heirs of the
richest patrimonies, or the dastardly and hereditary drudges of
imperious task-masters, you must determine.

To discharge this double duty to yourselves and to your
posterity; you have nothing to do, but to call forth into
use the good sense and spirit, of which you are possessed.
You have nothing to do, but to conduct your affairspeaceably----
prudently----firmly----jointly. By these means you will support the
character of freemen, without losing that of faithful subjects--a
good character in any government--one of the best under a British
government. You will prove that Americans have that true magnanimity
of soul, that can resent injuries without falling into rage; and
that tho' your devotion to Great-Britain is the most affectionate,
yet you can make proper distinctions, and know what you owe to
yourselves as well as to her----you will, at the same time that
you advance your interests, advance your reputation--you will
convince the world of the justice of your demands, and the purity
of your intentions--while all mankind must with unceasing applauses
confess, that you indeed deserve liberty, who so well understand it,
so passionately love it, so temperately enjoy it, and so wisely,
bravely, and virtuously, assert, maintain, and defend it.

     "_Certe ego libertatem quæ mihi a parente meo tradita est,
     experiar, verum id frustra, an ob rem faciam, in vestra manu
     situm est, quirites._"

     "For my part, I am resolved strenuously to contend for the
     liberty delivered down to me from my ancestors; but whether
     I shall do this effectually or not, depends on you, my
     countrymen."

How little soever one is able to write, yet, when the liberties
of one's country are threatened, it is still more difficult to be
silent.

                                           A FARMER.

_Is there not the greatest reason to hope, if the universal sense of
the colonies is immediately exprest by resolves of the assemblies,
in support of their rights; by instructions to their agents on the
subject; and by petitions to the crown and parliament for redress;
that those measures will have the same success now that they had in
the time of the Stamp-act._



To the ingenious Author of certain patriotic Letters, subscribed A
FARMER.


  MUCH RESPECTED SIR,

When the rights and liberties of the numerous and loyal inhabitants
of this extensive continent are in imminent danger,--when the
inveterate enemies of these colonies are not more assiduous to forge
fetters for them, than diligent to delude the people, and zealous to
persuade them to an indolent acquiescence: At this alarming period,
when to reluct is deemed a revolt, and to oppose such measures as
are injudicious and destructive, is construed as a formal attempt
to subvert order and government; when to reason is to rebel; and a
ready submission to the rod of power, is sollicited by the tenders
of place and patronage, or urged by the menace of danger and
disgrace: 'Tis to YOU, worthy SIR, that AMERICA is obliged, for
a most seasonable, sensible, loyal, and vigorous vindication of
her invaded rights and liberties: 'Tis to YOU, the distinguished
honour is due; that when many of the friends of liberty were ready
to fear its utter subversion: Armed with truth, supported by the
immutable laws of nature, the common inheritance of man, and leaning
on the pillars of the BRITISH constitution; you seasonably brought
your aid, opposed impending ruin, awakened the most indolent and
inactive, to a sense of danger, re-animated the hopes of those,
who had before exerted themselves in the cause of freedom, and
instructed AMERICA in the best means to obtain redress.

Nor is this western world alone indebted to your wisdom, fortitude,
and patriotism: GREAT-BRITAIN also may be confirmed by you, that to
be truly great and successful, she must be just: That to oppress
AMERICA, is to violate her own honours, defeat her brightest
prospects, and contract her spreading empire.

To such eminent worth and virtue, the inhabitants of the town of
BOSTON, the capital of the province of the MASSACHUSETTS-BAY, in
full town meeting assembled, express their earliest gratitude.
Actuated themselves by the same generous principles, which appear
with so much lustre in your useful labours, they will not fail
warmly to recommend, and industriously to promote that union among
the several colonies, which is so indispensably necessary for the
security of the whole.

Tho' such superior merit must assuredly, in the closest recess,
enjoy the divine satisfaction of having served, and possibly
saved this people; tho' veiled from our view, you modestly shun
the deserved applause of millions; permit us to intrude upon your
retirement, and salute The FARMER, as the FRIEND OF AMERICANS, and
the common benefactor of mankind.

                           _Boston, March 22, 1768._

     The above letter was read, and unanimously accepted by the town,
     and ordered to be published in the several news-papers.

               _Attest._ WILLIAM COOPER, Town-Clerk.

[Illustration: logo]


       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

Minor typographical and punctuation errors have been corrected
without note. Irregularities and inconsistencies in the text have
been retained as printed.

Mismatched quotes are not fixed if it's not sufficiently clear where
the missing quote should be placed.

In the book there are notes at the bottom of pages xxxii to xxxvii
referring to certain toasts. For ease of reading, the transcriber
has moved the notes to follow the toast to which it refers.





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