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man among them has been convinced of his error, even by that act of parliament.
The person, then, who first projected to lay aside the accustomed method of requisition, and to raise money on America by stamps, seems not to have acted wisely, in deviating from that method which the colonists looked upon as constitutional; and thwarting undecessarily the fixed prejudices of so great a number of the king's subjects. It was not, however, for want of knowledge that what he was about to do would give them offence; he appears to have been very sensible of this, and apprehensive that it might occasion some disorders; to prevent or suppress which, he projected another bill, that was brought in the same session with the stamp act, whereby it was to be made lawful for military officers in the colonies to quarter their soldiers in private houses. This seemed intended to awe the people into a compliance with the other act. Great opposition, however, being raised here against the bill by the agents from the colonies and the mer. chants trading thither, the colonists declaring, that under such a power in the army, 10 one could look on his house as his own, or think he had a home, when soldiers might be thrust into it and mixed with his family at the pleasure of an officer) that part of the bill was dropped ; but there still remained a clause, when it passed into a law, to oblige the several assemblies to provide quarters for the soldiers, furnishing them with firing, bedding, candles, small beer or rum, and sundry other arti. cles, at the expense of the several provinces : and this act continued in force when the stamp act was repealed; though, if obligatory on the assemblies,
it equally militated against the American principle above mentioned, that money is not to be raised on English subjects without their consent.
The colonies, nevertheless, being put into high . good humour by the repeal of the stamp act, chose to avoid a fresh dispute upou the other, it being temporary and soon to expire, never, as they hoped, to revive again : and in the mean time, they, by various ways, in different colonies, provided for the quartering of the troops, either by acts of their own assemblies, without taking notice of the act of parliament, or by some variety or small diminution, as of salt and vinegar, in the supplies required by the act; that what they did might appear a voluntary act of their own, and not done in due obedience to an act of parliament, which, according to their ideas of their rights, they thought hard to obey.
It might have been well if the matter had then passed without notice; but a governor having written home an angry and aggravating letter upon this conduct in the assembly of his province, the outed [proposer*] of the stamp act, and his adherents, (then in the opposition) raised such a elamour against America, as being in rebellion, and against those who had been for the repeal of the stamp act, as having thereby been encouragers of this supposed rebellion—that it was thought necessary to enforce the quartering act by another act of parliament, taking away from the province of New York (which had been the most explicit in its refusal) all the powers of legislation, till it should have complied with that act: the news of which greatly alarmed
• Mr. George Grenville.
the people every where in America, as the language of such an act seemed to them to be-obey implicitly laws made by the parliament of Great Britain to raise money on you without your consent, or you whall enjoy no rights or privileges at all.
At the same time, a person fately in high office * projected the levying more money from America, by new duties on various articles of our own manufacture (as glass, paper, painters' colours, &c.) appointing a new board of customs, and sending over a set of commissioners, with large salaries, to be established at Boston, who were to have the care of collecting those duties, which were by the act expressly mentioned to be intended for the payment of the salaries of governors, judges, and other officers of the crown in America; it being a pretty general opinion here, that those officers ought not to depend on the people there for any part of their support.
It is not my intention to combat this opinion. But perhaps it may be some satisfaction to your readers to know what ideas the Americans have on the subject. They say then, as to governors, that they are not like princes whose posterity have an inheritance in the government of a nation, and therefore an interest in its prosperity; they are generally strangers to the provinces they are sent to govern; have no estate, natural connexion, or relation there, to give them an affection for the country; that they come only to make money as fast as they can; are sometimes men of vicious characters and broken fortunes, sent by a minister
* Mr. Charles Townsend.
merely to get them out of the way; that as they in.
contravenes those instructions. This is what they say as to governors.
As to judges, they allege, that being appointed from hence, and holding their commissions, not during good behaviour, as in Britain, but during pleasure; all the weight of interest or influence would be thrown into one of the scales (which ought to be held even) if the salaries are also to be paid out of duties raised upon the people without their consent, and independent of their assemblies' approbation or disapprobation of the judges' behaviour: that it is true, judges should be free from all influence; and therefore, whenever goverument here will grant commissions to able and honest judges during good behaviour, the assemblies will settle permanent and ample salaries on them during their commissions; but at present they have no other means of getting rid of an ignorant or an unjust judge (and some of scandalous characters have, they say, been sometimes sent them) left, but by starving them out.
I do not suppose these reasonings of theirs will appear here to have much weight. I do not produce them with an expectation of convincing your readers. I relate them merely in pursuance of the task I have imposed on myself, to be an impartial historian of American facts and opinions. · The colonists being thus greatly alarmed, as I said before, by the news of the act for abolishing the legislature of New York, and the imposition of these new duties, professedly for such disagreeable purposes, (accompanied by a new set of revenue officers, with large appointments, which gave strong suspicions, that more business of the same kind