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bly; but it was too late, the business was closed,«and the assembly retired. The other colonies met the plan cordially and firmly, and chose committees to meet in general congress at Philadelphia in September. During this period the most cordial letters were transmitted from all the colonies to Boston, expressing the highest approbation of their firmness, and patriotism, assuring them of their sympathy, co-operation, and support.
The people began very generally to provide themselves with arms and ammunition, especially in Massachusetts, knowing that such a contest was not likely to subside without an appeal to the sword. This disposition in the people, led the governor to send over to Charlestown and secure the arsenal. This the people considered as a flagrant outrage upon their just rights, and assembled in arms throughout the vicinity, to the number of several thousand, and took their stand at Cambridge. Their first object was 'to march into Boston, and demand the powder, &c. taken from the arsenal; but being dissuaded from this, they turned their attention to the Lt. Gov. Oliver, with such of the council as were near, and compelled them either to resign, or declare that they would no longer give support to arbitrary measures against the colonies.
In the midst of these scenes, the true spirit of the public feeling was put to the test, and ought to have proved sufficient to have opened the eyes of ministers, as well as their minions on this side of the water, to a, true sense of the situation of the nation. An alarm was spread amongst this assembled multitude, that the fleet and troops were firing upon the town of Boston. The shock became general, and flew like lightning through the country, and in less than twenty-four hours, there were collected at Cambridge, more than 30,000 men in arms; many had travelled more than thirty miles, before they were, or could be undeceived.
* . V .'
Strong as was this expression of the firmness and resolution of the public mind, to maintain and defend their just rights, at the point of the sword, it made no impression upon the ministers, and gave no hope for any favourable change in their measures. All the officers of government took the alarm at this rising and gathering of the people at Cambridge, and fled into Boston; even the custom-house was removed from Salem, and fixed in the proscribed town of Boston. At the same time the governor removed Col. Hancock from the command of his company of cadet guards ; the company returned to the governor the standard which he had presented to them, and disbanded themselves. Twenty-four officers of the regiment under the. command of Col. Murray, resigned their commissions, because he accepted a seat at the council board. In this state of things, the county of Suffolk called an assembly of delegates from the several towns, and resolved "that no obedience was due from this province, to either or any part of the late acts; but that they be rejected as the attempts of a wicked administration, to enslave America," &c. "And that the fortifications begun, and now carrying on upon Boston neck, give us reason to apprehend some hostile intention against the town," &c. "That during the present hostile appearances on the part of Britain, we are determined to act merely on the defensive, so long as such conduct may be vindicated by reason, and the principles of self preservation; but no longer." "We do therefore recommend, for the honour and security of the county and province, that such persons be elected in each town as officers of the militia, as shall be judged of sufficient capacity, and who have evidenced themselves the inflexible friends of the rights of the people, and that the inhabitants do use their utmost diligence to acquaint themselves with the art of war, and do for that purpose assemble under arms, at least once in every week." The meeting proceeded to recommend the observance of good
Vol. HI. 10
order,' and a dignified deportment, in opposition to all riotous proceedings. They next drew up an address to the governor,' and appointed Dr. Joseph Warren and others, to present it to his excellency, in which they complain of the fortifications now erecting upon Boston neck, and the insults offered by the soldiers to the people, as they pass and repass. To which the governor returned the following reply—" I have no intention to prevent the free egress and regress of any person to and from Boston. I shall suffer none under my command to injure the person and property of any of his majesty's subjects; but it is my duty to' preserve the peace, and prevent surprize; and no use will be made of the cannon, unless the hostile proceedings of tbe people shall render it necessary."
At this time Mr. Quincey sailed for England, at the request of the patriots of Massachusetts, to co-operate with the patriots then in London, in explaining the true state of the public mind in the colonies, as well as to attempt to turn aside the horrors of war, by interesting the people of England to engage in promoting a change in the ministry, as the only probable method of effecting a change of measures.
On the 8th, Congress proceeded to pass the following resolves:—
"That if the late acts of Parliament shall be attempted to be carried into execution by force, in such case America ought to support the inhabitants of Massachusetts Bay in their opposition." "That if it be found absolutely necessary to remove the people of Boston into the country, all America ought to contribute towards recompensing them for the injury they may thereby sustain." "That every person who shall accept, or act, under any commission or authority derived from the act of Parliament, changing the form of government, and violating the charter, ought to be held iu detestation."
cl / • i•u CHAPTER V. •. . I
-<./<• .- ii i•♦ i.'<.; • •
CAUSES THAT LED TO THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, CONTINUED. FIRST CONGRESS AT PHILADELPHIA. , ,
On the 5th of September, 1774, a delegation from all the colonies, excepting North-Carolina, assembled at Philadelphia, agreeable"to''their appointment, and chose unanimously, Peyton Randolph, Esq. a'member from Virginia, for their president, and Charles Thomson, Esq. for th'eir secretary, (a member from Pennsylvania.) Congress, bj their first resolve, placed all the colonies npon an equality, by declaring, "That in determining all questions, each colony shbuld have one vote."
The delegation from North-Carolina now appeared, and took their seats, which rendered the amount of the whole number, fifty-two, besides the president.' Congress thus heing organized, proceeded'fo passi the following resolii
iJ.j 1.:,,.' . J -Itilll 'It• . -fc 7 ', - .1 «
The Suffolk resolves, of which the preceding extracts were only a part, were transmitted to Congress, where they were
highly approved, and produced the following resolves. '*'
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"Resolved unanimously, That this assembly deeply feels the' sufferings of their countrymen in the Massachusetis-bay, 'under the late operation of the unjust, cruel, and oppressive-acts of the British parliament; that they most thoroughly approve the wisdom and fortitude with which opposition to those 'measures have been conducted ; and they earnestly recommend to theirbrethren, a perseverance ^ih the'samefirm, and tehnperate conduct, as expressed in the resolutions,'determined upon at a meeting of the delegates for the county of Suffolk, on Tuesday of the 6th inst. to the 9th: trusting that the effects of the' united efforrs°df
?Torth America', m'tlieirbehalf/will carry such conviction
i) *iltil49i'jl) "l hi nf ;wi 'mjih> 4
to the British nation, of the unwise, unjust, and ruinous policy of the present administration, as quickly to introduce better men, and wiser measures.
"Resolved unanimously, That contributions from all the , colonies for supplying the necessities, and alleviating the distresses of our brethren in Boston, ought to be continued, in such manner and so long as their occasions may require."
On the 10th of October, Congress made a communication by letter, to Gen. Gage, expressing the deepest concern at the hostile manner of his proceedings, which if possible, out-did the oppressive acts of parliament, and cautioned him against driving the people, hitherto peaceably disposed, into measures of hostility, and thereby preventing the endeavours of Congress to restore a good understanding with the parent state, and thus involve us in the horrors of war.
They concluded this important letter, by recommending it to the general to quiet the minds of the people, by discontinuing the fortifications upon Boston neck, giving all possible security to private property, restraining all irregularities in the soldiery, and keeping open a free communication between the town and country.
To which Gen. Gago replied, " No troops have given less cause of complaint, and greater care was never taken to prevent it; and such care was never more necessary, from the insults and provocations daily given to both officers and soldiers.—The communication between thetov and country, has been always free, and is so still." &c«^The general thus concludes: " I ardently wish that the common enemies of both countries may see, to their disappointment, that these disputes between the mother country, and the colonies, have terminated, like the quarrels of lovers, and increased the affections of both."