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build and equip a navy”-never was so important most formidable hour ever collected, even with a subject more expeditiously despatched. The che aid of press gangs. The object seems easy Roman decree, “Dant operam consules, ne quid detri to be obtained the view is magnificently greatmenti capiat respublicu,” was a singular model of surely it is worthy of being seriousiy contemplated. concise energy: But it must now cease to be so. The due settlement of the importance of the However, I should have been better pleased had several siates respecting each other, is a naller there been a clause added to nur maritime provi. of capital moment. In
congress each state, ought sion for manning the navy: This is the grand point of natural right, to have a weight in proportion 10 -Britain finds it to be so. She can equip ships its importance. Can any state be justiy entitled to with ease fro:n her yards: But the great difficulty a greater degree of weight? Can any state honestly is to man them. It was not with the phalanx that desire to figure in plumes at another's expense?-Greece kept the great king at arm's length-it What is understood by representation? Is it not a was not with the legions that Rome acquired sign of the reality? Ought such a representation to Sicily and conquered Carthage--it was not with be greater than the reality? Is it not upon this prin. her battalions that Britain awed Europe: But Sala-ciple, however abused, that the English parlia"min, Ecnoma, and La Hogue, were naval actions ment was formed? Has not this principle been that decided the superiority of nations. If Ameri. adopted in all the houses of assembly that ever sat tx is to be secure at home and respected abroad, upon this continent? Why are we now to deen it must be by a naval force. Shall we then, scarce that unjust, which till now, we universally acknow. bestow a thought upon this palladium of our safety? ledged as a certain and beneficial truth? What is Nature and experience instruct us, that a maritime called the rotten part of the English constitucionstrength is the best defence to an insular situation, is it not an unequal, and therefore an unjust re. Is not the situation of the United States insular presentation of iis territory and wealth? Has not with respect to the powers of the old world: the lord Chatham been censured for not having, durquarter from which, alone, we are to apprebending his all.powerful administration, a:tempted to danger? Have not the maritime states the great, cut off that rotten member fron the body politicest influence upon the affairs of the universe? Do an amputation which was thought could scarce fail not the powers of Europe strain their perves to of being performed when undertaken by the hand render themselves formidable at sea? This, then, of so great a man? Can ingenuity itself find an im. is the theatre, as I may say, on which America must portant distinction between the iwo cases? In both, appear, if she intends to appear any where, with the great states on the one hand, and the great dignity and importance. Can the proper means of counties, cities and boroughs on the other, have her doing so, be better provided for, than in the less weights and the small states, counties, cities confederation of her United States: Tliis aci ought and boroughs, have more than they ought--such to contain all the great lines of her general polity is the point in question. And shall we designedly otherwise it must be imperfect. The nursery of contract a fatal disense which we know has long ker naval power cannot be better esiablished, than been consuming the vital vigor of the English conby having it made uniform in all the states. What stitution, and is but too likely to destroy it? Shall advantage does not Britain expect from her marine our wise men persist in endeavoring to create that society? What oppression does her people suffer, which it would have been, ILLUSTRIOUS AS R$ 18, from the practice of pressing, to man the royal lord Chatham's greatest glory to have endeavored fleets! -An absolute outrage upon civil liberty, and to destroy!--I am hurt by the idea-the contrast yet often inadequate to the end. The plan I have fills me with pain and anxiely---however, I do not hinted seems calculate:l to avoid these evils. The despair of relief. There is a resolution of the first proportion of five in a thousand is small--the al. congress that was held after the British blockade lurements are considerable and not expensive... of Boston, from which I have great expectation. the service is but short. And yet, only estimating It was the first resolve passed by that venerable the white inhabitants at two millions, after the body; and it is couched in these terms: "Resolved, first sixteen years, ten thousand seamen will an. that, in the determining questions in this congress, nually be created, to give security and importance each colony or province shall have one vote-olie to America; and in oher seven years, in all congress nut being possessed of, or at present able probability we should have more than doubl. 10 procure proper materials for ascertaining te the number of seamen, whose bounden duty i importance of each colony.”---Hence, it is evident, sould be to our fiets, than Britain in her' what was their idea of's just representation; and I
hope it will yet be adopted. The Lyrian republictue s nall ones shouid he those not, by a complete was a confederation of three and twenty towns: proportion, exceeding four proportions of the smalThe great ones had three voices...the middling, lest: This class would, for the present, contain two---and the small, one: contributing to the pub. Georgia, North Carolina, Delaware, New Jersey, lic expense in proportion to their representation. New York, Rhode Island and New Hampshire, We are to cotribute according to oxir abilities, and the middling should be those states, by a comwhy should we not have a weight in proportion to piete proportion, exceeding four, and not in the our importance?.-.If each state must have the same same manner exceeding ten proportions: This class weight, let each coniribule the same sum. We are would comprehend South Carolina, Marylan?, i fant states, but we have the wisdom of ages be Pennsylvania and Connecticut. The great siates f ore our eyes.
Let us not despise what is invalua. should be ascertained by their exceeding eleven ble. It is the best chart by wbich we can steer proportions of the smallest: This third class would along the dificult co:st of government, and ven- include Virginia and Massachusetts-Bay. The first ture to run our ship of state into safe port. By this class should bave three delegates to each state--the we may probably find an haven, that will invite the second, sis - the third, nine-making a congress of people of all nations to take shelter in it against sixty-nine delegates, who should by a majority de. the furious storms of tyranny. But, without it, we termine all questions except those contained in the shall be but too likely to be shipwrecked. Let restrictions, which should be determined by the us therefore adopt uniform and experienced prin-voices of the states. The representation of each ciples throughout our voyage: Let us not trust to state should be increased or lessenel, in proporprinciples which clasli and cannot forn a perfect tion to the aid actually paid; and this ought to be system. In the present case, either contribute to the barometer of importance, stimulating each the public aid, according to ability, and have a state to its utmost contribution. a corresponding weight.--05, have equal weight, These sentiments upon the subject of a confedeand contribute the same sum: Either is a perfect ration, sir, are the result of a few days reflection, system: But the first part of each must ever con amidst a variety of business, public and private: tinue irreconcileable to justice, and the known rule It is, indeed, not long since the plan from the conof right. The sage Montesquieu, having maturely gress has been received. I am fully sensible, that considered the nature of a confederated govern. my ideas, now thrown out, will admit of important ment, parricularly the Empire and Holland, says, amendments, and therefore I do not presume to “were I to give a model of an excellent confede. offer them for consideration. I have taken the li. rate republic, I would pitch upon that of Lycia.” berty to drop them only because it was my duty to Can we do better, sir, than adopt the governing do so: and I think, if the states shall be allowed to principle in the most perfect model of a confede. vote according to their importance, the sketch I racy?
have drawn might form a beneficial confedera. I will now beg leave to apply this principle to tion. I observe the plan before us contains thir. the rate for the public aid, established by congress teen articles: I can have no objection to a number on the 22d of November last.
allusive to the confederacy proposed. My sketch New Hampsbire .
200,000 contains ten articles. Nor can I suppose that numMassachusetts Bay
820,000 ber will be a matter of difficulty. In collecting Rhode Island, and Providence Plantations 100,000 the materials, I arranged them under sixteen artiConnecticut
600,000 cles; but in condensing the subject, it accidentally New-York
200,000 was comprised in ten, altho' I strove to reach the New Jersey
270,000 confederated number. However, the accident inPennsylvania .
620,000 stantly made me recollect, that the divine law Delaware.
60,000 to was in ten articles.--and that the RoMaryland
520,000 man law was originally written on ten tables.-I Virginia .
800,000 confess, sir, I was not displeased... I am sure the North-Carolina
250,000 pious men of antiquity would have considered the South Carolina
500,000 accidental ten articles of confederation, as an omen Georgia
60,000 of the beneficial nature of their contents. I may
add, the number thirteen may, and we all hope
5,000,000/ will, cease to be allusive to the existing confede. These states I would class in three dir:sions. racy: But the number ten will ever allude to the
eternal monuments of Divine jus:ice, and humai' MY LORD AND SIN--Your declaration at New. wisdom-Excuse, sir, this excursion to Sinai and York, bas reached this place. It has occasioned Rome, I will return to my proper subject; nor will surprise and concern. The known honor and I detain your attention but a moment.
abilities of your excellencies, and your declaraI have now, Mr. Chairman, with profound humili- tion, appear perfect contrasts. The latter is an ty, given my thoughts upon the confederation of "nnatural production. Hurt, as I am, to see your the United States. Thoughts intent upon pro
names so prostituted, I cannot restrain myself from moting and securing the interests of my native making a few remarks to your excellencies upon a
subject which, by endangering your reputation, country-thoughts equally solicitous for the grandeur of America.-In delivering them, I trust i istresses every generous mind. I shall first state
your declaration: have, on that point, fully discharged my duty to my constiments—to the state--to the contient-- "By Richard Viscount Howe, of the kingdom of to posterity. I have no intention to derogate from Ireland, and William Howe, esq. general of his the dignity or the merit of congress: I have zeal. majesty's forces in America, the king's COMMISSION. ously supported the one, and I shall ever be ready, Ets for restoring peace to his mujesty's colonies and gratefully to pay any tribute of applause to the plantations in North America, &c. &c. &c. other. It is my undoubted privilege as a freeman to speak plainly—it is my bounden duty to do so “Although the congress, whom the misguided nor can our supreme rulers, constituted only for Americans suffer to direct the opposition to a re. the purpose of preserving to us our civil rights, be establishment of the constitutional government of displeased at such a conduct: The occasion is of these provinces, have disavowed every purpose of the first importance. I meant to speak in terms of reconciliation not consonant with their extravagant respect: if any thing of a contrary nature escapes and inadmissible claim of independence--the me, I am sorry and beg pardon for it--it is not king's commissioners 'hink fit to declare that they my inteniion to offend any individual, especially are equally desirous to confer with his mujesty's the supreme authority. But, sir, I scarce think well affected subjects upon the means of restoring the moment is at hand, for the ratification of a con- the public tranquility, and establishing a perma. federacy. Rather than adopt the articles before us, nent union with every colony as a part of the British I would yet a little longer trust to the ties that empire. The king being most graciousły pleased now bind America in union. The American con- to direct a revision of such of iis royal instructions federacy should be the effect of wisdom, not or to his governors as may be construed to lay an im. fear-an act of deliberation, not of hurry. It should proper restraint on the freedom of legislation in be a noble monument attracting the respect of the any of his colonies, and to concur in the revisal world—and capable of drawing forth the admira- of all acts by which his majesty's subjects there tion and gratitude of our posterily.- Upon the may think themselves aggrieved, it is recommendwhole, sir, tbis is scarce a time to deliberate, but ed 10 the inhabitants at large, to reflect seriously it is certainly a time to act--it is my great aim, upon their present condition and expectations, and that America shall be independent--free-illustri- julge for themselves, whether it be more consistent ous and Lappy!
with their honor and happiness to offer up their I cannot now, sir, sit down withont expressing lives as a sacrifice to the unjust and precarious to the committee, the concern I feel for baving
cause in which they are eng ged, or return to their taken up so much of their time as I have. 'I am llegiance, accept the blessings of peace, and to sensible long discourses are often heard with im. be secured in a free enjoyment of their liberties patience: But the stupendous importance of this and properties upon the true principles of the consubject, and my zeal in endeavoring to discharge
titution my daty, will I hope plead in my favor. I beg
"Given at New-York, 19th September, 1776. leave to return my most respectful thanks, for ebe
“HOWE. attention and patience with wbich I have been
«W. HOWE. heard.
By command of their excellencies, STRAGHEY."
And now, not to detain your ascellencies by Address
inaking observations upon lord Howe's not assum. T', their ercellencies RICHARD Discount Howe, ad. ing his military title, displaying the nature of his
mira!, and William Howe, esq. general, of his supreme hostile command in America, by which Brilantic womerty's forces in America.
unusual and designed omission, the ignorant, seeing
his name contrasted with that of a general clothed , concur in the revisal of all acts by which his ms. in all his terrors, may be entrapped to believe that jesty's subjects may think themselves aggrieved." his lordship is to be considered in a more amiable But what of all this. Your excellencies have not point of view, a mere commissioner only, for re told the people, who "think themselves aggrieved," storing peace, without any military command to that they are to be a party in the revision. You intimidate and coerce. Not to wound your delicacy, have not even told them who are to be revisors. If by adiniring the wisdom of your appealing from you had, it would be nothing to the purpose; for the congress to people confessed by you to be you have not, and cannot tell them and engage that directed by that honorable assembly: My remarks even any of the instructions and acts, being revised, shall be confined to the more material parts of shall be revoked, and repealed; particularly those by your declara'ion, which, I am sorry to say, are in which people “may think themselves aggrieved." every respect unworthy your good sense and high But, if such are not to be repealed, why have you characters,
mentioned “think themselves aggrieved?" If they Your excellencies "think fit to declare," that are intended to be repealed, why did not your you are desirous "of restoring the public tran excellencies come to the point at once and say so? quility,” But is the end your excellencies aim -It is evident your excellencies are by your suat our honor and advantage? Is it to give a free periors precipitated into a dilemma. You have not scope to o'r natural growth? Is it to confirm to been accustomed to dirty jobs, and plain dealing us our rights by the law of nature? No!--- It is to does not accord with your instructions; otherwise, cover us with infimy. It is to chill the sap, and in the latter case, I think you are men of too much check the luxuriance of our imperial plant. It is sense and honor to have overlooked or suppressed tn deprive is of our natural equality with the rest so material a point of information. However, you of mankind, by "est iblishing" every state "as a part say instructions and acts are to be revised: We of the British empire.” In short, your excellencies see that you have laid an ambuscade for our li. invite men of common sense, to exchange an inde. berties; the clause is carefully constructed without pendent station for a servile and dangerous de the least allusion to the revisors, or to the words pendence? But, when we recollect that the king redress, revoke, repeal. In short, it appears to be of Great Britain has, from the throne, declared his drawn up entirely on the plan of a declaration by • firn and siedlust resolutions to withstand every king James the second after his abdication, as attempt to weaken or impair the supreme authority confidentially explained by James' secretary of of that legislature over all the dominions of his state, the earl of Melford, to lord Dundee in Scotcro'vn:” that his kiirelings in parliament and tools land. For Melford writes to Dundee, “that notin office, abhorred by the English nation, have withstanding of what was promised in the declaraechoed the sentiment; and that America, for ten tion, indemnity and indulgence, yet he had couched years has experienced that king's total want of things so that the king would break them when he candor, humanity, and justice-it is, I confess, a pleased; nor would he think himself obliged to matter of wonder, that your excellencies can submit stand to them.” And your excellencies have "couched to appear so lost to decency as to hold out sub-thing's 80,” that more words upon this subject are jection as the only condition of peace: and that unnecessary. you could condescend to sully your personal honor,
"It is recommended to the inhabitants at large, ky inviting us to trust a government in which you
to reflect seriously upon their present condition.” are conscious we cannot in the nature of thing: place any confilence...a goverament that you are
Is it possible your excellencies can be serious, and sensible has been, now is, and ever must be jealous
mean any thing by this recommendation? Can you of o'ır. prosperity and natural growth---govern
be ignorant, that ever since the birth of the stamp. ment that you know is absolutely abandoned to act, the inhabitants at large have been reflecting corriiption!—Take it not amiss, if I hint to your idea that, after such a length of time, during which
upon their deplorable condition? Can you have an excellencies, that your very appearing in support
they have been continually kept to their reflec. of such a proposal, furnishes cause to doubt even
tions, by the declaratory law, the tea.act, the Bosof your integrity; and to reject your allurements,
ton port bill, and those then passed to annihilate least they decoy us into sluvery,
the charter of Massachusetts. Bay, the Quebec bill The declaration says, "the king is most graci- lo establish popery, the fishery.bill to coerce by oualy pleased to direct a revision of such of his famine, the British commencement of the late civil royal instructions to his governors, &c. "and to var, and the act of parliament in December last,
declaring the inhabitants rebels-I say, after such d, order of battle, within log shot, without firing a series of causes for reflection, and that your excel-gun to interrupt the service, is at least some slight lencies nozo find us in arms against you, determined degree of evidence that they respect and stand in on independence or death, can you possibly enter. awe of the American arms. In short, without being tais an idea that we have not reflected seriously? unreasonable, I think I may be allowed to say, that On the contrary you know, that we are prepared to these particulars do not shew, that our cause is so offer up our lives in evidence of our serious reflec- precarious as your excellencies would insinuate it tions! In addressing a world, you ought to have to be; and to recom nend that your excellencies some attention to the propriety of your recom "refect seriously upon your present condition," mendations, if only from a regard to your own re. and abandon "the unjust cause in which you are putation
engaged" while you yet may preserve your reputa.
tion from the reproaches of posterity. You are pleased to term our cause "unjust." In
Your exceilencies call upon the inhabitants at this there is nothing so surprising, as your being large "to return to their allegiance." It is as if lured to give such a sentiment under your hands
you had commanded a body of troops to advance sigoing your own disgrace with posterity. You
to the assault, before you had put them in order of know, that the virtHous characters throughout battle.
I tell your excellencies, that protection Europe, on this point differ with your excellencies;
must precede allegiance; for the latter is founded on and I most respec:fully subrnit, whether there is the benefit of the former. That the operations of not some little degree of presumption in your he forces by sea and land under your orders, signing an opinion, in contradiction to the opinionemonstrate that your king is not our protector. of thousands, who, without derogating from your And, that the allegiance of America to the king escellencies, are at least as well able to judge up. of Great Britain is now utterly out of the question. on the point as you are?
But yo'ı attempt to allure the inhabitants hy But you add, that our cause is "precarious." telling them they may "be secured in a free enjoy. Allow me to make a proper return to your excel ment of their liberties and properties, upon the lencies by informing you, that all the affairs of true principles of the constitution.” Will your men are precarious, and that war is particularly excellencies tell us where those principles are to 60. However, if your excellencies meant to be found? You must say they're not to be found insinuate that our cause is precarious from an in the present British government. Do we not inability in us to maintain it, I beg leave to ask ge- know that the majority of the two houses of parlianeral Howe what progress his arms made during Rent are absolutely under the king of Great Bri. his command at Boston: And what shining victories, tain's direction? - They make and repeal laws; they and important conquests you have achieved since agree with or reject motions; they vote money eden your junction at Staten-island? The eulogium, voithout limitation of sum, at the pleasure of that d'un fulmina belli
king's minister, in whose pay they actually are; Scipad18
and your excellencies as men of honor dare not cannot yet be applied to your excellencies. Geneveny these things. Will you then say that, where ral Howe's repulse from the lines on Long.island, there is such a dependence, the true principles of and his victory over the advanced guard of 3000 the constitution operate! The history of the premen, reflect no great degree of glory on the corps sent reign, all Europe, would witness against yon. of at least 12,000 that he commanded. Nor can those principles have been long despised by the you boast much of the action on New-York-island rulers, and lost to the people-otherwise, even at on the 15th September, when a few more than 800 the commencement of the present reign, we should Americans, attacking three companies of light not have seen the dismission of the virtrous troops supported by two regiments, the one Scotch, chancellor of the exchequer, Loor, because he the other Hessian, drove them from hill to hill back would not quit his seat in parliament at the instiga. to your lines, and carried off three pieces of brass tion of the lust prince of Wales; nor the massacre cannon as trophies of their victory. And when in St. George's fields and the royal thanks to the general Washington, on the second of October, assassins; nor the repeated and unredressed com. caused a large detachment to draw up to llarlaen plaints to the throne; nor the unheurd of profusion plains to cover the inhabitants between the two of the public treasure, for exceeding the extravaarmies, while they carried off their effects, the gance of a Caligulaor a Nero; nor the present ruinous march and continuance of the British troops in situation of Great Britain; nor the present war in