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Added to these, the Americans remembered the act authorizing the most cruel insult that perhaps was ever offered by one people to another, that of emptying our gaols into their settlements; Scotland too having within these two years obtained the privilege it had not before, of sending its rogues and villains also to the plantations. I say, reflecting on these things, they said one to another, their newspapers are full of such discourses) “These people are not content with making a monopoly of us, forbidding us to trade with any other country of Europe, and compelling us to buy ever thing
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 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, on Trade, p. 32,)" 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 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.'
“I find that this clause, 'privately got into an act, for the benefit of Captain Cole, to the vast loss of the nation,' is foisted into the 3d Anne, ch. 5th, entitled, “An Act for granting to her Majesty a further subsidy on wines and merchandises imported;' with which it has no more connexion, than with 34th Edward I., 34th and 35th of Henry VIII., or the 25th Charles II., which provide that no person shall be taxed but by himself or his representatives."
of them, though in many articles we could furnish ourselves ten, twenty, and even to fifty per cent cheaper elsewhere; but now they have as good as declared they have a right to tax us ad libitum internally and externally; and that our constitutions and liberties shall all be taken away, if we do not submit to that claim.
“ They are not content with the high prices at which they sell us their goods, but have now begun to enhance those prices by new duties; and, by the expensive apparatus of a new set of officers, appear intend an augmentation and multiplication of those burdens that shall still be more grievous to us. Our people have been foolishly fond of their superfluous modes and manufactures, to the impoverishing our own country, carrying off all our cash, and loading us with debt; they will not suffer us to restrain the luxury of our inhabitants, as they do that of their own, by laws; they can make laws to discourage or prohibit the importation of French superfluities; but though those of England are as ruinous to us as the French ones are to them, if we make a law of that kind, they immediately repeal it.
“ Thus they get all our money from us by trade; and
every profit we can anywhere make by our fisheries, our produce, or our commerce, centres finally with them; but this does not signify. It is time, then, to take care of ourselves by the best means in our power. Let us unite in solemn resolution and engagements with and to each other, that we will give these new officers as little trouble as possible, by not consuming the British manufactures on which they are to levy the duties. Let us agree to consume no more of their expensive gewgaws. Let us live frugally, and let us industriously manufacture what we can for ourselves;
thus we shall be able honorably to discharge the debts we already owe them; and after that, we may be able to keep some money in our country, not only for the uses of our internal commerce, but for the service of our gracious sovereign, whenever he shall have occasion for it, and think proper to require it of us in the old constitutional manner. For, notwithstanding the reproaches thrown out against us in their public papers and pamphlets, notwithstanding we have been reviled in their senate as rebels and traitors, we are truly a loyal people. Scotland has had its rebellions, and England its plots against the present royal family ; but America is untainted with those crimes; there is in it scarce a man, there is not a single native of our country, who is not firmly attached to his King by prin ciple and by affection.
“But a new kind of loyalty seems to be required of us, a loyalty to Parliament; a loyalty that is to extend, it is said, to a surrender of all our properties, whenever a House of Commons, in which there is not a single member of our choosing, shall think fit to grant them away without our consent; and to a patient suffering the loss of our privileges as Englishmen, if we cannot submit to make such surrender. separated too far from Britain by the ocean, but we were united to it by respect and love; so that we could at any time freely have spent our lives and little fortunes in its cause; but this unhappy new system of politics tends to dissolve those bands of union, and to sever us for ever.'
These are the wild ravings of the, at present, halfdistracted Americans. To be sure, no reasonable man in England can approve of such sentiments, and, as I said before, I do not pretend to support or justify them; but I sincerely wish, for the sake of the manufactures
and commerce of Great Britain, and for the sake of the strength, which a firm union with our growing colonies would give us, that these people had never been thus needlessly driven out of their senses. I am yours, &c.
« LETTERS FROM A FARMER
When the celebrated Farmer's Letters, written by John Dickinson, reached the hands of Dr. Franklin in London, he sent them to press there, and prefixed the following address to the reader in the form of a preface. — Editor. .
When I consider our fellow subjects in America as rational creatures, I cannot but wonder, that, during the present wide difference of sentiments in the two countries, concerning the power of Parliament in laying taxes and duties on America, no application has been made to their understandings, no able and learned pen among us has been employed in convincing them that they are in the wrong; proving clearly, that, by the established law of nations, or by the terms of their original constitution, they are taxable by our Parliament though they, have no representative in it.
On the contrary, whenever there is any news of discontent in America, the cry is, “Send over an army or a fleet, and reduce the dogs to reason."
It is said of choleric people, that with them there is but a word and a blow.
I hope Britain is not so choleric, and will never be so angry with her colonies as to strike them. But that if she should ever think it