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W Harvard College.
There were in Connecticut 191,392 white inhabitants, and 6464 blacks;1 in Rhode Island, 59,678 souls.?
In consideration of the dark aspect of public affairs, the corporation of Harvard College voted, that there be no public commencement, this year. The candidates received their degrees in a general diploma.3
Observations on the act of Parliament, commonly called · The Boston Port Bill,' with Thoughts on Civil Society and Standing Armies, by Josiah Quincy, junior, were published in May at Boston, and reprinted this year at London :4 A summary View of the rights of British America. The Royal American Magazine was published in Boston ; the last periodical work printed there before the revolution.
Major general John Winslow died at Hingham, aged 71 years; Sir William Johnson, baronet, at Albany, aged 60 years. Major general John Bradstreet died. Thomas Hollis, of Lincoln's Inn, a very liberal benefactor of Harvard College, died, at the age of about 54 years.?
1 Pres. Stiles, MS. This was the return of a census. The census in 1756 returned 128,218 whites and 3587 blacks; in 1762, it returned 141,076 whites and 4590 blacks. “Increase 50,000 in 12 years, beside 8000 families or 32,000 souls emigrated in that space.”
2 Ibid. Families, 9439. Souls, 54,435 whites, 1482 Indians, 3761 Negroes. [See A. D. 1755.) Newport contained 9209 souls.
3 Pemberton, MS. Chron. Royal Amer. Magazine.
6 It was printed by and for Isaiah Thomas, and was continued a little more than a year, when the war put a period to it. Under the head of “ Historical Chronicle," many official and other papers, illustrative of the crisis, are preserved.
7 Memoirs of Thomas Hollis, Esq. F. R. and A. s. s. ii. 602. Mr. Hollis en. riched the Library of Harvard College with a great number of curious, valuable, and costly books. He was an eminent virtuoso and antiquary; and many of the books, which he sent to the Library, are very rare, and contain illustrative remarks respecting the authors, the occasions of them, &c. in his own hand writing, distinguished commonly by the initial letters of his name. On the destruction of Harvard Hall by fire, in 1764, he subscribed £200 sterling to the Apparatus, and the same sum to the Library. His benefactions to the college, during his life time, are supposed to amount to more than £1400 sterling. Two alcoves in the Library (beside many books in the other alcoves) are entirely filled with books of his donation, and are generally bound very neatly, often superbly. “The bindings of books,” he observed, “ are little regarded by me for my own proper library; but by long experience I have found it necessary to attend to them for other libraries; having thereby drawn notice, with preservation, on many excellent books, or curious, which, it is probable, would else have passed unheeded and neglected.” In addition to these benefactions he, at his decease, bequeathed to the college £500 sterling, to be laid out in books. The Annual Register says of Mr. Hollis, that “ in him was united the humane and disinterested virtue of Brutus, with the active and determined spirit of Sidney; that he was illustrious in his manner of using an ample fortune, not by spending it in the parade of life, which he despised, but by assisting the deserving, and encouraging the arts and sciences, which he promoted with zeal and affection. His humanity and generosity were not confined to the small spot of his own country; he sought for merit in every part of the globe, considering himself as a citizen of the world.”
The British government did not relax its coercive measures Proceed. relative to the colonies. The king, in his speech to parliament ings of par
liament. toward the close of the preceding year (30 November), had stated, “that a most daring spirit of resistance and disobedience to the laws still unhappily prevailed in the province of. Massachusetts, and had broken forth in fresh violences of a very criminal nature, and that these proceedings had been countenanced and encouraged in other of his colonies, and unwarrantable attempts had been made to obstruct the commerce of his kingdoms by unlawful combinations; and that he had taken such measures, and given such orders, as he judged most proper and effectual for carrying into execution the laws which were passed in the last session of the late parliament, for the protection and security of the commerce of his subjects, and for restoring and preserving peace, order, and good government in the province of Massachusetts.” An address, proposed in the house of commons in answer to this speech, and echoing it, produced a warm debate; but it was carried by a great majority. A similar address was carried, after a spirited debate, in the upper house; but nine lords entered a protest against it. Soon after the meeting of this parliament, the proceedings of the American congress reached Great Britain. The parliament, having adjourned for the Christmas holidays without coming to any decision on American affairs, took up this subject as soon as it met again in January. At this critical moment, lord Chatham, after a long Jan. 20. retirement, resumed his seat in the house of lords, and with all L.
w ham opthe strength of his impressive eloquence endeavoured to dissuade poses the his countrymen from attempting to subdue the American colonists measures of
the minisby force of arms. That illustrious sage had now become vener- ters; able by his years; but he spake with the fire of youth. After some general observations on the importance of the American controversy, he enlarged on the ruinous events that were coming on the nation, in consequence of this dispute and the measures of the ministry ; arraigned the conduct of ministers with great severity ; reprobated their whole system of American politics; and moved, that a humble address be presented to his majesty, moves an most humbly to advise and beseech him, that, in order to open
address to the way toward an happy settlement of the dangerous troubles in America, by beginning to allay ferments, and soften animosities there, and, above all, for the preventing, in the mean time, any sudden and fatal catastrophe at Boston, now suffering under the daily irritation of an army before their eyes, posted in their town, it may graciously please his majesty, that immediate orders
congress is Rallon
1775. may be despatched to general Gage, for removing his majesty s
~ forces from the town of Boston, as soon as the rigours of the season, for remove and other circunstances indispensable to the safety and accoming his
modation of the said troops, may render the same practicable. troops from Boston. This motion was supported by his lordship in a pathetic speech,
and by lord Camden, lord Shelburne, and the marquis of Rockingham ; but it was rejected by a great majority. A respectable minority, however, in both houses, was strongly seconded by petitions from the merchants and manufacturers throughout the
kingdom, and particularly by those of London and Bristol. Petition of On the 26th of January, a petition was offered from Mr. refused a
Bollan, Dr. Franklin, and Mr. Lee; stating, that they were hearing. authorized by the American continental congress to present a
petition from the congress to the king, which his majesty had referred to that house, and that they were enabled to throw great light on the subject; and praying to be heard at the bar, in support of the said petition. A violent debate ensued. The friends of the ministry, while they refused to hear and discuss the petition, insulted it, as containing nothing but pretended
grievances; and it was rejected by a large majority. Feb. 1. Lord Chatham, persevering in the prosecution of his conciliaLord Chat. tory scheme, brought into the house of lords the outlines of a ham's con. ciliatory bill, under the title of “A provisional act for settling the troubles bill reject- in America, and for asserting the supreme legislative authority ed.
and superintending power of Great Britain over the colonies;" but it was rejected by a majority of 64 to 32, without being allowed to lie on the table.
A joint address from the lords and commons was at length Address of
presented to his majesty, in which they returned thanks for the commons to communication of the papers relative to the state of the British the king. colonies in America; gave it as their opinion, that a rebellion
actually exists in the province of Massachusetts Bay ; besought his majesty to take the most effectual measures to enforce due obedience to the laws and authority of the supreme legislature; and in the most solemn manner assured him, that it was their fixed resolution, at the hazard of their lives and properties, to stand by his majesty against all rebellious attempts, in the maintenance of the just rights of his majesty and the two houses of parliament.
The next day, the prime minister, lord North, moved for Bill for re. leave to bring in a bill to restrain the trade and commerce of the straining the trade of provinces of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and N. England. Connecticut, to Great Britain, Ireland, and the British islands in
the West Indies; and to prohibit those provinces from carrying on any fishery on the banks of Newfoundland, and other places to be mentioned in the bill, under certain conditions, and for a
limited time. After much opposition in both houses, the bill was 1775. ratified by a great majority.'
While this bill was depending, lord North suddenly moved Lord what he termed a conciliatory proposition. The purport of it a
1 conciliawas, that parliament would forbear to tax any colony, which tory proposhould engage to make provision for contributing its proportion sition to the common defence, and to make provision also for the support of civil government, and the administration of justice in such colony. The proposition was founded on no one radical principle of reconciliation ; the minister himself at length acknowledged, that it was designed to divide America, while it should unite Great Britain. It was transmitted to the several colonial governors, in a circular letter from lord Dartmouth; but the colonists universally felt too strongly the importance of union, and understood too well the real principle of the contest, to be divided or deceived by a proposition, that was conciliatory in name only.
Soon after parliament had passed the bill for restraining the Bill for retrade of New England, intelligence was received, that the inhabitants of the middle and southern colonies were supporting the middle their northern brethren in every measure of opposition ; which an
. ern colooccasioned a second bill to be brought in and passed for imposing nies. similar restrictions on the colonies of East and West Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, and the counties on the Delaware. Whatever was the view of the British ministry in making this discrimination, the omission of New York, Delaware, and North Carolina in this restraining bill, was considered in America as calculated to promote disunion ; but the three exempted colonies spurned the proffered favour, and submitted to the restraints imposed on their neighbours. At the very time when the restraining acts were framing, the constitutional assembly of New York was preparing a petition to the Petition of British parliament for a redress of grievances; and it both
it both N. York to
parliament ; disappointed and confounded those who had calculated much on the moderation of that province, to find the very “loyal assembly” of New York stating that an exemption from internal taxation, and the exclusive right of providing for their own civil government, and the administration of justice in the colony, were esteemed by them as their undoubted and unalienable rights. “We feel," said they, “ the most ardent desire to promote a
the trade of
1 The penal acts of 1774 were entirely levelled against Massachusetts; but lord North assigned these reasons for extending the fishery bill to the three other New England colonies : “ that they had aided and abetted their offending neighbours; and were so near to them, that the intentions of parliament would be frustrated, unless they were in the like manner comprehended in the proposed restraints." VOL. II.
1775. cordial reconciliation with the parent state, which can be ren
dered permanent and solid only by ascertaining the line of parliamentary authority, and American freedom, on just, equitable, and constitutional grounds. ... From the year 1683 till the close of the late war they had enjoyed a legislature consisting of three distinct branches, a governor, council, and general assembly, under which political framne the representatives had uniformly exercised the right of their own civil government, and the administration of justice in the colony. It is therefore with inexpressible gries that we have of late years seen measures adopted by the British parliament subversive of that constitution under which the good people of this colony have always enjoyed the same rights and privileges so highly and deservedly prized by their fellow subjects of Great Britain.” Adverting to the essential privilege of the trial by a jury of the vicinage, they “ view with horror the construction of the statute of the 35th of Henry the VIII. as held up by the joint address of both houses of parliament in 1769, advising his majesty to send for persons guilty of treasons, and misprisions of treasons, in the colony of Massachusetts Bay, in order to be tried in England ;” and they “ are equally alarmed at the late acts, impowering his majesty to send persons guilty of offences in one colony to be tried in another, or within the realm of England.” They complain of the act of 7th of George the III, requiring the legislature of this colony to make provision for the expense of the troops quartered among them; of the act suspending their legislative powers till they should have complied; and of the Quebec act. Considering themselves as interested in whatever may affect their sister colonies, they cannot help feeling for the distresses of their brethren in Massachusetts, from the operation of the several acts of parliament passed, relative to that province, and earnestly remonstrating in their behalf. “We claim," say they, “but a restoration of those rights which we enjoyed by general consent before the close of the last war; we desire no more than a continuation of that ancient government to which we are entitled by the principles of the British constitution, and by which alone
can be secured to us the rights of Englishmen.” presented This petition was communicated to parliament by Mr. Burke, by Mr.
who, in presenting it, said, it was from the general assembly of Burke;
the province of New York; a province which yielded to no part of his majesty's dominions in its zeal for the prosperity and unity of the empire, and which ever had contributed as much as any in its proportion, to the defence and wealth of the whole. On the 15ih of May, Mr. Burke, who held the paper in his hand,
moved to have it brought up in parliament; but, after an amendbrought up. ment, moved by lord North, expressing its interference with