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inventions to justify the few in sporting with the happiness of the many; and, having found their sophistry too weak to hold mankind in bondage, have impiously dared to force religion, the daughter of the King of heaven, to become a prostitute in the service of hell. They taught, that princes, honored with the name of christian, might bid defiance to the founder of their faith, might pillage pagan countries and deluge them with blood, only because they boasted themselves to be the disciples of that teacher, who strictly charged his followers to do to others as they would that others should do unto them.
This country having been discovered by an English subject, in the year 1620, was (according to the system which the blind superstition of those times supported,) deemed the property of the crown of England. Our ancestors, when they resolved to quit their native soil, obtained from king James, a grant of certain lands in North America. This they probably did to silence the cavils of their enemies, for it cannot be doubted, but they despised the pretended right which he claimed thereto. Certain it is, that he might, with equal propriety and justice, have made them a grant of the planet Jupiter. And their subsequent conduct plainly shows, that they were too well acquainted with humanity, and the principles of natural equity, to suppose, that the grant gave them any right to take possession; they, therefore, entered into a treaty with the natives, and bought from them the lands. Nor have I ever yet obtained any information, that our ancestors ever pleaded, or that the natives ever regarded the grant from the English crown: the business was transacted by the parties in the same independent manner, that it would have been, had neither of them ever known or heard of the island of Great Britain.
Having become the honest proprietors of the soil, they immediately applied themselves to the cultivation of it; and they soon beheld the virgin earth teem. ing with richest fruits, a grateful recompense for their
unwearied toil. The fields began to wave with ripening harvests, and the late barren wilderness was seen to blossom like the rose. The savage natives saw, with wonder, the delightful change, and quickly formed a scheme to obtain that by fraud or force, which nature meant as the reward of industry alone. But the illustrious emigrants soon convinced the rude invaders, that they were not less ready to take the field for battle than for labor; and the insidious foe was driven from their borders as often as he ventured to disturb them. The crown of England looked with indifference on the contest; our ancestors were left alone to combat with the natives. Nor is there any reason to believe, that it ever was intended by the one party, or expected by the other, that the grantor should defend and maintain the grantees in the peaceable possession of the lands named in the patents. And it appears plainly, from the history of those times, that neither the prince nor the people of England, thought themselves much interested in the matter. They had not then any idea of a thousandth part of those advantages, which they since have, and we are most heartily willing they should still continue to reap from us.
But when, at an infinite expense of toil and blood, this widely extended continent had been cultivated and defended; when the hardy adventurers justly expected, that they and their descendants should peaceably have enjoyed the harvest of those fields which they had sown, and the fruit of those vineyards which they had planted, this country was then thought worthy the attention of the British ministry; and the only justifiable and only successful means of rendering the colonies serviceable to Britain, were adopted. By an intercourse of friendly offices, the two countries became so united in affection, that they thought not of any distinct or separate interests, they found both countries flourishing and happy. Britain saw her commerce extended, and her wealth increased; her lands raised to an immense value ; her fleets riding
and happyealth increets riding
triumphant on the ocean; the terror of her arms spreading to every quarter of the globe. The colonist found himself free, and thought himself secure : he dwelt under his own vine, and under his own figtree, and had none to make him afraid. He knew, indeed, that by purchasing the manufactures of Great Britain, he contributed to its greatness: he knew, that all the wealth that his labor produced, centered in Great Britain. But that, far from exciting his envy, filled him with the highest pleasure; that thought supported him in all his toils. When the business of the day was past, he solaced himself with the contemplation, or perhaps entertained his listening family with the recital of some great, some glorious transaction, which shines conspicuous in the history of Britain : or, perhaps, his elevated fancy led him to foretel, with a kind of enthusiastic confidence, the glory, power and duration of an empire which should extend from one end of the earth to the other. He saw, or thought he saw, the British nation risen to a pitch of grandeur, which cast a veil over the Roman glory, and, ravished with the preview, boasted a race of British kings, whose names should echo through those realms where Cyrus, Alexander, and the Cæsars were unknown; princes, for whom millions of grateful subjects redeemed from slavery and pagan ignorance, should, with thankful tongues, offer up their prayers and praises to that transcendently great and beneficent being, " by whom kings reign and princes decree justice.”
These pleasing connexions might have continued ; these delightsome prospects might have been every day extended; and even the reveries of the most warm imagination might have been realized; but, unhappily for us, unhappily for Britain, the madness of an avaricious minister of state, has drawn a sable curtain over the charming scene, and in its stead has brought upon the stage, discord, envy, hatred and revenge, with civil war close in their rear.
Some demon, in an evil hour, suggested to a shortsighted financier the hateful project of transferring the whole property of the king's subjects in America, to his subjects in Britain. The claim of the British parliament to tax the colonies, can never be supported but by such a transfer; for the right of the house of commons of Great Britain, to originate any tax or grant money, is altogether derived from their being elected by the people of Great Britain to act for them; and the people of Great Britain cannot confer on their representatives a right to give or grant any thing which they themselves have not a right to give or grant personally. Therefore, it follows, that if the members chosen by the people of Great Britain, to represent them in parliament, have, by virtue of their being so chosen, any right to give or grant American property, or to lay any tax upon the lands or persons of the colonists, it is because the lands and people in the colonies are, bona fide, owned by, and justly belonging to the people of Great Britain. But, (as has been before observed,) every man has a right to personal freedom; consequently a right to enjoy what is acquired by his own labor. And it is evident, that the property in this country has been acquired by our own labor; it is the duty of the people of Great Britain, to produce some compact in which we have explicitly given up to them a right to dispose of our persons or property. Until this is done, every attempt of theirs, or of those whom they have deputed to act for them, to give or grant any part of our property, is directly repugnant to every principle of reason and natural justice. But I may boldly say, that such a compact never existed, no, not even in imagination. Nevertheless, the representatives of a nation, long famed for justice and the exercise of every noble virtue, have been prevailed on to adopt the fatal scheme; and although the dreadful consequences of this wicked policy have already shaken the empire to its centre, yet still it is persisted in. Regardless of the voice of reason; deaf to the prayers and supplications; and unaffected with the flowing
tears of suffering millions, the British ministry still huy the darling idol; and every rolling year affords fresh instances of the absurd devotion with which they worship it. Alas! how has the folly, the distraction of the British councils, blasted our swelling hopes, and spread a gloom over this western hemisphere.
The hearts of Britons and Americans, which lately felt the generous glow of mutual confidence and love, now burn with jealousy and rage. Though but of yesterday, I recollect (deeply affected at the ill-boding change,) the happy hours that passed whilst Britain and America rejoiced in the prosperity and greatness of each other. Heaven grant those halcyon days may soon return! But now the Briton too often looks on the American with an envious eye, taught to consider his just plea for the enjoyment of his earnings, as the effect of pride and stubborn opposition to the parent country. Whilst the American beholds the Briton, as the ruffian, ready first to take away his property, and next, what is still dearer to every virtuous man, the liberty of his country.
When the measures of administration had disgusted the colonies to the highest degree, and the people of Great Britain had, by artifice and falsehood, been irritated against America, an army was sent over to enforce submission to certain acts of the British parliament, which reason scorned to countenance, and which placemen and pensioners were found unable to sup
Martial law, and the government of a well regulated city, are so entirely different, that it has always been considered as improper to quarter troops in populous cities; frequent disputes must necessarily arise between the citizen and the soldier, even if no previous animosities subsist. And it is further certain, from a consideration of the nature of mankind, as well as from constant experience, that standing armies always endanger the liberty of the subject. But when the people, on the one part, considered the army as sent