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make provision, for the purposes in your two last messages mentioned."

Governor Bernard did not suffer this high-toned message from the house to go unnoticed. He said he considered it as going entirely to deny the supremacy of parliament, and setting up their authority as above that of the parent government: That no representations of his were necessary to show the ministry that his and their authority were at an end in the province; their own declarations being sufficient to establish the fact. The day after this reply of the governor to the house, he prorogued the general court to January. But the house took time to prepare a second petition to the king, for his recall from the province; in which they referred to numerous instances of his arbitrary conduct, and represented him as an enemy to the liberties and welfare of the people. The council was as much dissatisfied with his administration as the house; and it afterwards appeared that some of the British ministry disapproved of his course, and admitted that he had represented the province as requiring an armed force to keep it in order.

On this, as well as on other occasions, the neighboring colonies looked to Massachusetts for direction and example, in the political dispute with the parent state. They considered her as taking the lead in the cause of civil liberty, and as opposing the agents of arbitrary power, for the benefit of all. It was, indeed, a common cause; but from her comparative strength and her past efforts, Massachusetts was observed with peculiar interest. Had her statesmen and patriots faltered, the other parts of the country would have hardly dared to oppose. The friends of liberty, in different colonies, acknowledged the great services of Massachusetts, and often encouraged her by their gratitude and commendation.*

* A resolution was reported by the house, in June, 1769, "that no law, made by any authority where the people were not represented, was binding on them." It was altered, afterwards, however, so as to refer to laws imposing taxes, duties, &c.

25

CHAPTER XIV.

British troops remain in Boston-General Court adjourned a long timeStatement and Protest of the Citizens of Boston-Massacre in Boston, March, 1770-General Court held in Cambridge-House remonstrate against it-Riot at Gloucester-Ministerial instructions-Gov. Hutchinson's political views-Dispute continued, on holding the General Court out of Boston-Governor's salary paid from England-Courts-Mr. Hancock-Public finances-Samuel Adams-Controversy on salary of Governor and Judges-John Adams-Proceedings of Boston-Their statement and circular.

THE Continuance of the British troops in the province was a subject of deep and constant complaint. For there could be no reason given for retaining them, but to compel obedience to severe and oppressive acts of the parent government. None but arbitrary measures would be opposed by so loyal and sober a people. Some of the ministry were opposed to sending or continuing them in the province; and many members of the house of commons condemned it as an impolitic measure. But the majority believed the statements of Governor Bernard, and therefore advised to it; and when requested to withdraw them, chose to try the experiment a little longer. The troops were kept in strict discipline, for some months; and few complaints were made of gross insults offered to the people.*

There was now another long period without a session of the general court. The king's representative in the province had power, not only to call a meeting of the legislature at such time as he chose, but to prorogue it as long as he saw proper, without their request or consent. This was one of the instances of arbitrary power, in Governor Bernard. It had been usual to have a session in the autumn; but though much pub

Impressments were frequent, at this period, by officers of British ships of war. The lieutenant of the Rose frigate, in attempting to impress men from a vessel of Marblehead, was opposed and killed. Four men of the American vessel were tried for murder, and acquitted. Lieutenant Governor Hutchinson, then Chief Justice, was opposed to having a jury, considering it an admiralty case; but the majority of the court were in favor of a jury.

lic business required attention, he adjourned the court to January, and soon after sailed for England.*

But if the representatives of the province had no opportunity to act, as a body, in maintenance of their rights, the people were vigilant and watchful, in this respect, as far as consistent with law and order. And in no other way, were they disposed to proceed in opposition to the oppressive measures by which they suffered. It was only a very few who advocated riots and mobs. The people were generally deeply sensible of the evils of a standing army in the province, of the British law for raising a revenue, and of the numerous custom-house officers, who had no sympathy for the inhabitants, and who were ready to use the greatest extent of the power with which they were clothed. Many towns instructed their representatives to make all possible efforts for the removal and redress of these grievances. Boston, the capital of the province, where the citizens were alike intelligent and patriotic, prepared an address to the king, at this time, for the purpose of vindicating the character of the town and province, from the misrepresentations of Governor Bernard, and appealing to the favor and magnanimity of their sovereign. They averred that they sincerely desired a continuance of the union with Great Britain. They explicitly declared, that they considered their rights were invaded by the late measures of administration; and protested against acts for raising a revenue in the province without their consent; against a board of commissioners of the customs, the quartering of troops, and the instructions of ministers having the force of law.

At the same time, the merchants, and other citizens of Boston, renewed the agreement for not importing and using British goods. A very few, only, declined subscribing the agreement, two of whom were the sons of the lieutenant governor, who became very unpopular by this refusal. At a very large meet

* Governor Bernard was very unpopular in the latter part of his administration. He had advised to the appointment of the counsellors by the king, and to recall all commissions given to improper persons; intending such as were opposed to his arbitrary measures. Bowdoin, S. Adams, and James Otis, Jr., were expressly named. Governor Bernard was so obnoxious, that, in 1767, at the public examination of the schools in Boston, the selectmen declined inviting him.

In 1769, it was proposed to send to England for trial any persons accused of unjust opposition. This gave great alarm, and called forth the clamors of the people.

Arnold Welles, Edward Davis and Henderson Inches, were the committee to ascertain who violated the agreement. There was a fear that inter est might sway some to evade it, as well as political views.

ing, the town voted to prevail with all importers of goods, to conform to the agreement; and while assembled, the lietenant governor sent the sheriff to disperse them, and to forbear all such unlawful meetings.* It was voted, that the sheriff inform the lieutenant governor, that they considered the meeting warranted by the laws of the province; that his message had been received with due solemnity and deference; and that it was their determination to maintain consciences void of just offence towards God, and towards man.

A partial change was again made in the British ministry, and the duties were removed from some articles, which had been subject to high rates of impost. But the principle was still asserted, by the administration in England, that the parent government had the right to legislate for the colonies; and that the only question with them was, as to the expediency and the extent, in any particular cases. While this principle was advanced, the patriots in the colonies could not be satisfied, nor could they cease to contend against it. Their doctrine was, and with them it was all-important and indispensable, that they had the sole right, derived from nature, their charter, and the spirit of the British constitution, to tax themselves through their representatives. This doctrine, they were resolved never to yield; and, with all their love of order and submission to legal authority, so long as the British government interfered with this principle or claim, they were prepared to struggle; and seemed determined to oppose till their right was fully recognised.t

The great body of the people are more apt to be aroused by specific acts of injustice and oppression, than by the mere assertion of principles, however dangerous and hostile to liberty. The more intelligent and foresighted saw nothing but evil and danger, from a standing army; but after the first moment of alarm was over, on the landing of the troops, and as they were kept for some time, under strict discipline, they were viewed by many with less fear and abhorrence. But in the winter and spring of 1770, the soldiers were permitted to wander more frequently about the streets, and became insolent and menacing in their language. In a few instances, they were

They had not applied to him for liberty to hold the meeting; and unless such consent was had, a town meeting for political purposes was deemed

unlawful.

In 1769, an order was obtained of the king, granting an appeal to the council of state in England, from the judgment of the superior court of the province, in an action of ejectment. The general court instructed their agent in England "to prevent such a fatal precedent being established,"

rude and indecent in their deportment towards respectable females. The people also, on some occasions, applied abusive epithets to the soldiers, which served to provoke and irritate them. Before the fatal evening of the 5th of March, several disputes and affrays had occurred between the citizens and the soldiers, or officers of the customs. One of the most serious of these took place on the 22d of February, between a notorious spy and informer against the merchants, and a few boys, who had caught the spirit of the times. The boys were carrying paintings of those merchants who still imported English goods. They were met by the informer, who endeavored to persuade a countryman then passing to destroy the paintings. The passenger declined, and he attempted to destroy or deface them himself. A number of the citizens soon collected; and the informer charged some of them with perjury, and threatened to prosecute them. They considered him too insignificant to be noticed. The boys, however, were provoked at having their images broken and mutilated. They followed the man to his house, and assailed him with abusive epithets. As soon as he entered his house, he took up a gun, but the boys were not frightened; and threw snow balls against the house, as the only revenge they could have on him. He fired from a window, and one of the boys was killed by the shot. The excitement which arose on this wanton and most unjustifiable act, was extreme through the whole town and province. The funeral of the deceased lad was attended by an immense concourse of people, a great portion of them highly respectable; and he was considered a martyr to liberty; and a victim of arbitrary power.

The officers of the customs, with their mercenary agents, and the soldiers, were deemed enemies of the people and of liberty, and became more and more the objects of indignation and abhorrence. Some imprudent speeches, and even threats, were made by individuals, whose feelings were too powerful to be entirely restrained. The soldiers, fearing, or affecting to fear, assaults, roamed about in parties, and with large bludgeons; who were far more insolent and menacing, both in language and gestures, than any of the citizens. They seemed to be seeking occasions for attacking the people. They should have been kept in their quarters, or suffered only to go abroad with an officer, who would have felt it his duty to restrain them from all disorderly acts.

On the second and third of March, repeated quarrels took place between some of the soldiers and the laborers at a rope walk. Different accounts were given of the affray, but it ap

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