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kind was soon to be provided for them, that they might earn their salaries) began seriously to consider their situa. tion; and to revolve afresh in their‘! minds, grievances, which, from their respect and love for this country, they had long borne and seemed almost willing to forget. I They reflected how lightly the interest of all America had been estimated here, when the interests of a few of the inhabitants of Great Britain happened to have the smallest com‘petition with it. That the whole American people was forbidden the advantage of a direct importation of wine, oil, and fruit, from Portugal; but must take them loaded with all the expence of a voyage one thousand leagues round about, being to be landed first in England, to be reshipped for America; expenoes amounting, in war-time, at least to thirty pounds per cent. more than otherwise they
_ would have been, charged with; and all this merely, that a
few Portugal merchants in London may gain a commission on those goods passing through their hands. (Portugal merchants, by the-bye, that can complain loudly of the smallest hardships laid on their trade by foreigners, and yet
even in the last year could oppose with all their influence.
the giving ease to their fellow-subjects laboring under so heavy an oppression !) That im a slight complaint of a few Virginia merchants, nine colonies had been restrained from making paper money, become absolutely necessary to their internal commerce, from thegconstant remittance of their gold and silver to Britaina—But not only the interest of a particular body of merchamtgbut the interest of any small body of British tradesmen or artg'ficers has been'found, they say, to outweigh that of all the king’s subjects in the colonies. There cannot be a stronger natural right than that of a man’s making the best profit he can of the natural produce of his lands, provided he does .not thereby hurt the state in general. Iron is to be found every where in America, and beaver are the naturalproduceof that country: hats, and nails and steel are wanted, there as ‘well as here. It is of no importance to the common welfare of the‘ eni-pirc, whether a subject of the king gets his living by mak
ing hats on this, or on that side of the water. Yet the hatters of England 1‘have prevailed to obtain an act in their own favor, restraining that manufacture in America; in order to oblige the Americans to send their beaver to England to ,be manufactured, and purchase back the hats, loaded with the charges of a double transportation. In the same manner have a few nail-makers, and still a smaller body of steel-makers (perhaps there are not half a dozen of these in England) prevailed totally to forbid by an act of parliament the erecting of slitting-mills, or steel furnaces in America; that the Americans may be obliged to take all their nails for their buildings, and steel for their tools, from these artificers, under the some disadvantages.’
Added to these, the Americans remembered the act authorising the most cruel insult that perhaps was ever offered, by one people to another, that of emptying our gaols into their settlements ; Scotland too have 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 news papers are full of such dicour'ses) “ These people are not content
9 The following pertinent note is from the fourth paragraph of the American Farmer’s seventh letter, (written by the late John Dickensoh.) I
i“ Many remarkable instances might be produced of the extraordinary inattention with which bills of great importance concerning thes/e colonies have passed in parliament; which is owing, as it is supposed, to the bills being
i 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 show the truth of this remark.
“ When Mr. Grenville, in the violence of reformation and innovation, form. ed the 4th George 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 legislsture, 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 oil“ in a subsequent act.
“ I cannot say, how long after the taking off this restriction, as I have not ‘the acts, but 1 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.
. l with making a monopoly of us (Forbidding us to trade with any other country of Europe, and compelling us to buy every thing 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 libz'tum, internally and externally; and that our constitution 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 ofi‘icers, appear to intend an augmentation and multiplication of those burthens, that shall still be more grievous to us. their superfluous modes and manufactures, to the impoverishing of our own country, carrying off all‘ our cash, and loading us with debt ; they will not‘sutfer .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 re
peal it. Thus they get all our money from us by trade ; and“
“ Now if it be considered, that the omission mentioned, struck off, with one word, so very great a partof 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 caprainof 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‘ em‘played to prepare bills) with an opinion, that carrying rice directly to Portugal was a prejudice to the trade of England, and privately gotaclause 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 gotintoan act, for the benefit of Captain Cole, to the vast loss of the nation,’ is foisted into the 3d Anne, chapters 5th, intitled, ‘ an act for granting to her majesty a further subsidy on wines and merchandises imported,’ with which it has no more connection, than with 34th Edward I, 34th and 35th of Henry Vlll. or the 25th Charles 11. which pro~ vide that no person shall be taxed but by himself or his representatives,”
Our people have been foolishly fond of‘ L 102 Axnmcauvromrlcs. , 1768.
every profit we can any where make by our fisheries, our produce, or our commerce, centres finally with them ;—but this does not satisfy.~—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 industriousl-y manufacture what we can for Ourselves: thus
I 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 bur country, not only for the uses of our internal commerce, but for the service of our gracious sove
Y reigniwhenever he shall have occasion for it, and think proper to require it of us in the old constitutional manner.v -—F or 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, :VundlElngland its plots against the present royal family; but 1 America is untaintcd 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 principle 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,
N to a surrender of all our properties, whenever a house of com'mons, in which there is not a single member of our chasing, shall thinkfit to grant them away withoiit our consent,,and to a patient sufi'ering the loss of our privileges as
‘ Englishmen, if we cannot submit to make such surrender. ~We» were’ 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 for
‘tunes in its cause: but this unhappy new system of politics tends to dissolve those bands of union, and to sever us for ever.” - v‘ >
These are the wild ravings of the, at present, half-distracted Americans. To be sure, no reasonable man in Eng
_IIF.'_' “W _'— '
land 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, 8:0.
Letter concerning the gratitude of America, and the‘ [lrobabz'lz'ty and filters- qfan Umlon with Great Britain ,' and concerning the Repeal or Sits/tension of the Slamjz-flct.‘ I N
7am. 6, 1766. Sm, I HAVE attentively perused the paper you sent me, and am of opinion, that the measure it proposes, of an union with the colonies, is a wise one: but I doubt it will hardly
be thought so here, till it is too late to attempt its .The~
I F. 5. possibly means Franklin’s Seal. The paper, however, is unzlcubt-JI
edly the production of Dr. Franklin.
In the collection. of tract: on [be .rubjrcls (f taxing rbe Brilyr's/J cal'wrie: in America,- I
and rtgu/alr'ng rlm'r trade (printed in 1773, in 4 vols. '_8vo. by Almon) are I‘wa papers, said there to have been published originally‘ in 1739, and to have been drawn up by a club of American merchants, at the head of whom were sir William Keith (governor of Pennsylvania) Joshua Gee, and many other eminent persons. The first paper proposes the raising a small body of regular troops under the command of an officer appointed by the crown and independent of the
governors ( who were nevertheless to assist him in council on emergent occasions)‘
in order to protect the Indian trade, and take care o/f the boundaries and hack settlements, They were to be supported by a revenue to be established by an of parliament, in America ; which revenue was to arise out of a duty on cramp: paper and parcbmmt. The second paper goes into the particulars of this pro
posed stamp duty, ofi‘ers reasons for extending it over all the British plantations, ’
and recites its supposed advantages. If these papers ‘are at all genuine, Mr. George Grenville does not appear to have been original in conceiving stamp: as a proper subject for his new tax. See ib. vol. I.
2 The name ‘of the person to whom this letter is addressed is not known. The letter, to which it is a reply, appears to have contained the letter of some third person equally unknown. ‘