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· Not long after his resignation he was married to the widow of Mr. Curtis, a lady to whom he had been for some time strongly attached, and who, to a large fortune and a fine person, added those amiable accomplishments which ensure domestic happiness, and fill with silent but unceasing felicity the quiet scenes of private life.

CHAPTER

CHAPTER II.

Opinions on the Supremacy of Parliament, and its

Right to Tax the Colonies Stamp Act-Congress assemble at New York-Violence in the Great Towns-Change of Administration-Stamp Act repealed-Opposition to the Mutiny Act- Act Imposing Duties on Tea, &c. resisted in America, The Assembly of Massachussets address Letters to several Members of the Administration in England - Petition to the King-Circular Letter to the Colonial Assemblies-Letter from the Earl of HilsboroughAssembly of Massachussets dissolvedSeizure of the Sloop Liberty A Convention assembles at Faneuil-hall, Boston-Moderation of its Proceedings--Proceedings of Parliament, Resolutions of the House of Burgesses of Virginia -The Governor dissolves the Assembly-The Members form and sign a Non-importation Agreement, Measures generally taken against the Importation of British Manufactures-General Court again Convened in Massachussets-lis ProceedingsIs prorogued, Administration Resolve on a Repeal of all the Duties except that on TeamCircular Letter of the Earl of Hilsborough-New York recedes in Part from the Nonimportation Agreement-Riot in Boston-Trial

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and Acquittal of Captain Preston~ Insurrection in North Carolina--Dissatisfaction of Massachussets-Corresponding Committees appointed-Governor Hutchinson's Correspondence with Administration sent over by Dr. Franklin-The Assembly Petition for the Removal of the Governor and Lieutenant-governor-Hutchinson is succeeded by Gene

rai Gage. AT no period of time was the attachment of the

colonists to the mother country more strong or more general than at present*. The war just concluded had very deeply interested every part of the continent; every colony had been engaged in it, and every colony had felt its ravages. The part

* After the expulsion of the French from Canada, a considera· ble degree of illhumour was manifested in Massachussetts, with

respect to the manner in which the laws of trade were executed. A question was agitated in the court, in which the colony took a very deep interest. A custom-house officer applied for what was termed “ a writ of assistance," which was an authority to search any house whatever for articles chargeable with duty suspected to be concealed in it. The right to grant special warrants was never contested ; but this grant of a general warrant was deemed contrary to the principles of liberty, and was thought an engine of oppression equally useless and vexatious, which would enable every petty officer of the customs to gratify his resentments by harassing the most respectable men in the province. The ill-temper excited on this occasion was shewn by a reduction of the salaries of the judges, but no diminution of attachment to the mother country appears to have been produced by it. VOL. II.

taken

taken in it by Indian auxiliaries had greatly increased its horrors, and had added to the joy produced in every bosom by its successful termination. The union of that vast tract of country, which extends from the Atlantic to the Mississippi, and from the Gulph of Mexico to the north pole, under one common sovereign, was deemed a certain guarantee of future peace, and an effectual security against the return of those bloody scenes, from the sufferings

of which no condition in life could afford an ex... emption.

This state of things, so long and so anxiously wished for by British America, had at length been effected by the union of British and American valour. They had co-operated in the same service; their blood had mingled in the same plains; and the object pursued was common to both people.

While the British nation was endeared to the American heart by this community of danger and identity of interest, the brilliant achievements of the war had exalted to enthusiasm their admiration of British valour. They were proud of the land of their ancestors, and gloried in their descent from Englishmen. But this sentiment of admiration was not confined to the military character of the nation, A full portion of it was bestowed on their political institutions; and while the excellence of the Eng. lish constitution was a rich theme of declamation in America, every man believed himself entitled to a large-share of its advantages; nor could he admit

that,

that, by crossing the Atlantic, his ancestors had relinquished the essential rights of British subjects.

The degree of authority which might rightfully be exercised by the mother country over her colonies had never been accurately defined. In Britain it had always been asserted, that parliament possessed the power of binding them in all cases whatsoever. In America, at different times, and in different colonies, different opinions had been entertained on this subject.

In New England, originally settled by republic cans, and, during the depression of the regal government, the favourite of the English nation, habits of independence had nourished the theory, that the colonial assemblies possessed all the powers of legislation not surrendered by compact : that the Americans were subjects of the British crown, but not of the nation, and were bound by no laws to which their representatives had not assented. From this high ground they had been compelled reluctantly to recede. The judges, being generally appointed by the governors, with the advice of council, had determined that the colonies were bound by acts of parliament which concerned thein, and which were expressly extended to them ; and we have seen the general court of Massachussets, on a late occasion, explicitly recognizing the same principle. This had perhaps become the opinion of many of the best informed men in the province ; but the doctrine seems still to have been extensively maintained, that # 2

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