ページの画像
PDF
ePub

the unity of the empire. Do not entertain so weak pire; and have made the most extensive, and an imagination, as that your registers and your he only honorable conquests; not by destroying, bonds, your affidavits and your sufferances, your out by promoting, the wealth, the number, the cockets and your clearances, are what form the appiness, of the human race. Let us get an Amegreat securities of your commerce. Do not dream,ican revenue as we have got an American empire. that your letters of office, and your instructions, English privileges have made it all that it is; Eng. and your suspending classes are the things thatish privileges alone will make it all it can be. hold together the great contexture of this mysteri-in full confidence of this unalterable truth, I now ous whole. These things do not make your go (QUOD FELIX FAUSTUMQUR SIT) lay the first stone of vernment. Dead instruments, passive tools as they the temple of peace; and I move to you. are, it is the spirit of English communion that gives all their life and efficacy to them. It is the spirit of the English constitution, which, infused through the mighty mass, pervades, feeds, invigorates, vivifies, every part of the empire, even down to the minutest member.

Is it not the same virtue which does every thing for us here in England? Do you imagine then, that it is the land tax act which raises your revenue? that it is the annual vote in the committee of supply, which gives you your army? or that it is the mutiny bill which inspires it with bravery and discipline? No! surely no! It is the love of the people, it is their attachment to their government, from the sense of the deep stake they have in such a glorious institution, which gives you your army and your navy, and infuses into both that liberal obedience, without which your army would be a base rabble, and your navy nothing but rotten timber.

"That the colonies and plantations of Great Bri tain, in North America, consisting of fourteen se. and upwards of free inhabitants, have not had the parate governments and containing two millions right and privilege of electing and sending their kights and burgesses, or others, to represent in the high court of parliament."

Upon this resolution the previous question was put, and carried; for the previous question 270, against it 78.

NEWBERN, (NORTH CAROLINA) Sept. 20, 1775. In provincial congress.-The following address to the inhabitants of the British empire being presented, was unanimously received and approved, and is ae follows, viz.

TO THE INHABITANTS OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE.

"Friends and fellow-citizens.-The fate of the contest which at present subsists between these American colonies and the British ministers who now sit at the helm of public affairs, will be one of the most important epochs which can mark the annals of the British history. Foreign nations with anxious expectation wait the result, and see with amazement the blind infatuated policy which the

All this, I know well enough, will sound wild and chimerical to the profane herd of those vulgar and mechancial politicians, who have no place among us; a sort of people who think that nothing exists but what is gross and material; and who therefore, far from being qualified to be direc. present administration pursues to subjugate these tors of the great movement of empire, are not fit to colonies, and reduce them from being loyal and turn a wheel in the machine. But to men truly useful subjects, to an absolute dependence and initiated and rightly taught, these ruling and mas abject slavery; as if the descendents of those ancestors who have shed rivers of blood, and expendter principles, which, in the opinion of such men ed millions of treasure, in fixing upon a lasting as I have mentioned, have no substanial existence, foundation the liberties of the British constitution, are in truth every thing, and all in all. Magnanimity in politics is not seldom the truest wisdom; and a saw with envy the once happy state of this western great empire and little minds go ill together. If region, and strove to exterminate the patterns of we are conscious of our situation, and glow with those virtues which shone with a lustre which bid zeal to fill our place as becomes our station and ourselves, we ought to auspicate all our public proceedings on America, with the old warning of to call that our own which we earn with the labor the church, SURSUM CORDA! We ought to elevate of our hands, and the sweat of our brows; to reour minds to the greatness of that trust to which gulate that internal policy by which we, and not the order of Providence has called us. By advert they, are to be affected, these are the mighty boons ing to the dignity of this high calling, our ances. we ask: And traitors, rebels, and every harsh aptors have turned a savage wilderness into a glorious pellation that malice can dictate, or the virulence

fair to rival and eclipse their own.

"To enjoy the fruits of our own honest industry:

of language express, are the returns which we receive to the most humble petitions and earnest sup plications. We have been told that independence is our object; that we seek to shake off all connection with the parent state. Cruel suggestion! Do not all our professions, all our actions, uniformly which have been made by the representations of "We hope hereby to reserve those impressions

contradict this?

weak and wicked men to the prejudice of this "We again declare, and we invoke that Almighty colony, who thereby intended that the rectitude Being who searches the recesses of the human of our designs might be brought into distrust, and heart, and knows our most secret intentions, that sedition, anarchy, and confusion, spread through

it is our most earnest wish and prayer to be this loyal province.

restored, with the other United Colonies, to the state in which we and they were placed before the year 1763, disposed to glance over any regulations which Britain had made previous to this, and which seem to be injurious and oppressive to these colonies, hoping that, at some future day, she will benignly interpose, and remove from us every cause of complaint.

"These expressions flow from an affection bor. dering upon devotion to the succession of the house of Hanover, as by law established, from sub. jects who view it as a monument that does honor to human nature; a monument capable of teaching kings how glorious it is to reign over a free people. These are the heart-felt effusions of men ever ready to spend their blood and treasure, when constitutionally called upon, in support of that succession of his majesty king George the third, his crown and dignity, and who fervently wish to transmit his reign to future ages as the era of common happiness to his people. Could these our sentiments reach the throne, surely our sovereign would forbid the horrors of war and desolation to intrude into this once peaceful and happy land, and would stop that deluge of human blood which now threatens to overflow this colony; blood too precious to be shed but in a common cause, against the common enemy of Great Britain and her sons.

"This declaration we hold forth as a testimony of loyalty to our sovereign, and affection to our parent state, and as a sincere earnest of our present and future intentions.

"We have discharged a duty which we owe to the world, to ourselves, and posterity; and may the Almighty God give success to the means we make use of, so far as they are aimed to produce just, lawful, and good purposes, and the salvation and happiness of the whole British empire."

"Whenever we have departed from the forms of the constitution, our own safety and self-preservation have dictated the expedient, and if, in any instances, we have assumed powers which the laws invest in the sovereign or his representatives, it has been only in defence of our persons, pro. Previous to the calling of Mr. Penn to the bar, perties, and those rights which God and the con- the duke of Richmond announced the mode he had stitution have made unalienably ours. As soon as adopted preparatory to the governor's examinathe cause of our fears and apprehensions are re-tion. His grace confessed, "That he had apprized moved, with joy will we return these powers to Mr. Penn of the questions which would be protheir regular channels; and such institutions formed pounded to him, but the noble duke disclaimed from mere necessity, shall end with that necessity having entered into any sort of conversation with which created them. the governor, lest such conversation should be malevolently construed into a design of anticipating the answers Mr. Penn might think proper to

return."

Saturday, November 11, 1775. HOUSE OF LORDS.-The lords were yesterday as sembled for the purposes of examining governor Penn, and of discussing a motion which the duke of Richmond proposed to ground on such information as that gentleman should afford the house.

The duke of Richmond having finished his pre|liminary remarks, Mr. Penu was called to the bar, and interrogated nearly to the following purport:

Q How long had he resided in America? A. Four years. Two of those years in the capacity of governor of Pennsylvania.

Q. Was he acquainted with any of the members of the continental congress?

A. He was personally acquainted with all the members of that congress.

Q. In what estimation was the congress held? A. In the highest veneration imaginable by all ranks and orders of men.

Q. Was an implicit obedience paid to the resolu tions of that congress throughout all the provinces? A. He believed this to be the case.

Q. How many men had been raised throughout the province of Pennsylvania?

A. Twenty thousand effective men had volun-, vinces, he replied in the affirmative from informatarily enrolled themselves to enter into actual ser- tion only. vice if necessity required.

Q. Did he suppose that the congress contained Q. Of what rank, quality, and condition were delegates fairly nominated by the choice of the these persons?

A. Men of the most respectable characters in the province.

Q. Were not a considerable number of them entirely destitute of property?

A. It was presumed that, subtracted from so large a number as 20,000, there were some necessitous, but the major part were in flourishing situations.

A. By the votes of assemblies in some places, by ballot in others.

Q. In what light had the petition, which the witness had presented to the king, been considered by the Americans?

A. The petition had been considered as an olive branch, and the witness had been complimented by his friends, as the messenger of peace.

A. Four thousand minute-men, whose duty was pointed out by their designation. They were to be ready for service at a minute's warning.

Q. On the supposition that the prayer of this petition should be rejected, what did the witness imagine would be the consequence?

Q. Did the province of Pennsylvania grow corn sufficient for the supply of its inhabitants?

A. That the Americans, who placed much reliance on the petition, would be driven to despera. tion by its non-success.

A. Much more than sufficient, there was a surplus for exportation if required.

Q. Did the witness imagine, that sooner than

Q. Were they capable of making gunpowder in yield to what were supposed to be unjust claims Pennsylvania? of Great Britain, the Americans would take the A. They perfectly well understood the art, and desperate resolution of calling in the aid of foreign bad effected it.

assistance?

Q. Besides those 20,000, who voluntarily enrolled themselves to act as exigencies might require, what other forces had the provincials of Pennsylvania raised?

people?

A. He had no doubt but that the congress did contain delegates chosen under this description. Q. By what mode were the delegates in congress appointed?

Q. Could salt-petre be made in the province?

A. It could; mills and other instruments for ef. fecting such an undertaking had been erected with

success.

Q. Could cannon be cast in Pennsylvania? A. The art of casting cannon had been carried to great perfection; they were amply furnished with iron for that purpose.

Q. Could small arms be made to any degree of perfection?

A To as great a degree of perfection as could be imagined. The workmanship employed in finish. ing the small arms was universally admired for its excellence.

A. The witness was apprehensive that this would be the case.

Q. What did the witness recollect of the stampacı?

A. That it caused great uneasiness throughout America.

Q. What did the witness recollect, concerning the repeal of that act?

A. The anniversary of that memorable day is kept throughout America, by every testimony of public rejoicing, such as bonfires, illuminations, and o.her exhibitions of gladness.

Q. Would not the neglect with which the last petition was treated induce the Americans to resign All hopes of pacific negociatios?

Q. Were he Americans expert in ship-building?
A. More so than the Europeans.

Q. To what extent of tonnage did the largest of their shipping amount?

A. A ship of about three hundred tons was the largest they were known to build.

Q. Circumstanced as things at present were, die the witness think, that the language of the congresexpressed the sense of the people in America in general?

QUERIES FROM LORD DENRIGH,

As the witness had acted in the capacity of go

A. As far as the question applied to Pennsylvania, vernor, was he well acquainted with the charter of he was sure this was the case; for the other pro-Pennsylvania?

A. In the opinion of the witness it would.

Q. When the witness presented the petition to the secretary of state, was he asked any questions relative to the state of America?

A. Not a single question.

CROSS EXAMINED BY THE LORDS DENBIGH AND SAND

WICH.

A. He had read the charter, and was weil ac-provinces, but never met with them during his quainted with its contents. residence in Pennsylvania.

Q. Did he know that there was a clause which specifically subjected the colony to taxation by the British legislature?

A. He was weil apprised that there was such a clause.

Q In the opinion of the witness, were the Americans now free?

A. They imagined themselves to be so.

Q In case a formidable force should be sent to America, in support of government, did the witness Q Were the people of Pennsylvania content with imagine there were many who would openly profess their charter? submission to the authority of parliament? A. The witness apprehended the few who would

A. Perfectly content.

Q. Then did they not acquiesce in the right of join on such an occasion would be too trivial a numthe British parliament to enforce taxation? ber to be of any consequence.

A. They acquiesced in a declaration of the right, so long as they experienced no inconvenience from

the declaration.

QUERIES FROM LORD SANDWICH.

Q. Had the witness ever heard of an act entitled, "The declaratory act?"

A. He had heard of such an act.

That, except in the case of TAXATION, he apprehended the Americans would have no objection to acknowledge the sovereignty of Great Bri tain.

Q Did he ever peruse, and was he sufficiently acquainted with the corents of that act?

A. He never had perused it. It never had been much discussed whilst he resided in America.

Q. Did the witness apprehend that the congress This produced a debate, supported on both sides acquiesced in an act which maintained the authority with infinite ingenuity. The numbers were: of the British parliament in all cases whatsoever?

Objected to, and the witness was desired to withdraw; but being called in again, the question was put, and he replied:

For the motion 27-Proxies 6- -33
Against the motion 50-Pr xies 36-86
Majority against the motion 53

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

A. The witness knew nothing of the proceedings of the congress, they were generally transacted under the seal of secrecy.

Mr. Penn was then ordered to withdraw, and the duke of Richmond, after descanting with singular propriety on the necessity of immediate concilia. tion, proposed the last petition from the continental Congress to the king, as a basis for a plan of accomnodation. His grace of Richmond moved, "That the preceding paper furnished grounds of conciliation of the unhappy differences at present subsist. ing between Great Britain and America, and that some mode should be immediately a lopted, for the effectuating so desirable a purpose."

In the Virginia convention-present 112 members. WEDNESDAY, May 15, 1776. Forasmuch as all the endeavors of the UNITED COLONIES, by the most decent representations nd petitions to the king and parliament of Great Britain, to restore peace and security to America under the British government, and a re-union with that people upon just and liberal terms, instead of a redress of grievances, have produced, from an operious and vin lictive administration, increased insult, oppression, and a vigorous attempt to effect our to al destruction. By a late act, all these colonies are declared to be in rebellion, and out of the protection of the British crown, our properties sub.

Q Was the witness personally acquainted with ject to confiscation, our people, when captivated,

Mr. Harrison, a member of the congress?

A. The witness knew him well.

compelled to join in the murder and plunder of
their relations and countrymen, and all former
rapine and oppression of Americans declared legal
and just. Fleets and armies are raised, and the aid

Q. What character did he bear?
A. A very respectable one.

Q. Had the witness ever heard of any persons of foreign troops engaged to assist these destruc-
who had suffered persecutions, for declaring senti-tive purposes. The king's representative in this
ments favorable to the supremacy of the British colony hath not only withheld all the powers of go.
parliament?
vernment from operating for our safety, but, having
A. He had heard of such oppressions in other retired on board an armed ship, is carrying on a

piratical and savage war against us, tempting our | 3. General Washington, and victory to the Ame

slaves, by every artifice, to resort to him, and tram-rican arms.
ing and employing them against their masters. In
this state of extreme danger, we have no alternative
left but an abject submission to the will of those
overbearing tyrants, or a total separation from the

The UNION FLAG of the American states waved upon the capitol during the whole of this ceremony, which being ended, the soldiers partook of the refreshment prepared for them by the affection of their countrymen, and the evening concluded with illuminations, and other demonstrations of joy; every one seeming pleased that the domination of Great Britain was now at an end, so wickedly and tyrannically exercised for these twelve or thirteen years past, notwithstanding our repeated prayers

and remonstrances for redress.

crown and government of Great Britain, uniting and exerting the strength of all America for de fence, and forming alliances with foreign powers for commerce and aid in war: Wherefore, appeal ing to the Searcher of hearts for the sincerity of former declarations, expressing our desire to pre

in provincial conference, at Philadelphia, June 24, 1776.

Whereas George the third, king of Great Britain, &c. in violation of the principles of the British

manity, hath, by an accumulation of oppressions, unparalleled in history, excluded the inhabitants of this, with the other American colonies, from his protection; and whereas he hath paid no regard to any of our numerous and dutiful petitions for redress of our complicated grievances, but hath lately purchased foreign troops to assist in enslaving us, and hath excited the savages of this country to

serve the connexion with that nation, and that we are driven from that inclination by their wicked councils, and the eternal laws of self-preservation. The declaration of the deputies of Pennsylvania, met RESOLVED, UNAN. That the delegates appointed to represent this colony in general congress be instructed to propose to that respectable body to declare the United Colonies free and independent states, absolved from all allegiance to, or dependence up-constitution, and of the laws of justice and huon, the crown or parliament of Great Britain; and that they give the assent of this colony to such declaration, and to whatever measures may be thought proper and necessary by the congress for forming foreign alliances, and A CONFEDERATION OF THE COLONIES, at such time, and in the manner, as to them shall seem best. Provided, that the power of forming government for, and the regulations of the internal concerns of each colony, carry on a war against us, as also the negroes, to be left to the respective colonial legislatures. embrue their hands in the blood of their masters, RESOLVED, UNAN. That a committee be appointed in a manner unpractised by civilized nations; and to prepare A DECLARATION OF RIGHTS, and moreover hath lately insulted our calamities by such a plan of government as will be most likely declaring, that he will shew us no mercy, until he to maintain peace and order in this colony, and has subdued us; and whereas, the obligations of secure substantial and equal liberty to the people, allegiance (being reciprocal between a king and EDMUND PENDLETON, president. his subjects) are now dissolved, on the side of the colonists, by the despotism and declaration of the said king, insomuch that it appears that loyalty to In consequence of the above resolution, universal him is treason against the good people of this ly regarded as the only door which will lead to country; and whereas not only the parliament, but safety and prosperity, some gentlemen made a there is reason to believe, too many of the peohandsome collection for the purpose of treating the ple of Great Britain, have concurred in the aforesoldiery, who next day were paraded in Waller's said arbitrary and unjust proceedings against us; grove, before brigadier general Lewis, attended by and whereas the public virtue of this colony (so the gentlemen of the committee of safety, the mem- essential to its liberty and happiness) must be bers of the general convention, the inhabitants of endangered by a future political union with, or this city, &c. &c. The resolution being read aloud dependence upon a crown and nation, so lost to to the army, the following toasts were given, each justice, patriotism, and magnanimity: We, the of them accompanied by a discharge of the artillery deputies of the people of Pennsylvania, assembled and small arms, and the acclamations of all pre-in full provincial conference, for forming a plan for

(A COPY)

JOHN TAZEWELL, clerk of the convention.

sent:

executing the resolve of congress of the 15th of May last, for suppressing all authority in this pro

1. The American independent states.

2. The grand congress of the United States, and vince, derived from the crown of Great Britain, and their respective legislatures. for establishing a government upon the authority

« 前へ次へ »