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Be candidly considered in no other light then as expressing a disposition freely to communicate their mind to a sister colony, upon a common concern, in the same manner as they would be glad to receive the sentiments of your or any other House of Assembly on the continent.

The House have humbly represented to the ministry, their own sentiments, that his Majesty's high court of Parliament is the supreme legislative power over the whole empire; that in all free states the constitution is fixed, and as the supreme legislative derives its power and authority from the constitution, it cannot overleap the bounds of it, without destroying its own foundation; that the constitution ascertains and limits both sovereignty and allegiance, and, therefore, his Majesty's American subjects, who acknowledge themselves bound by the ties of allegiance, have an equitable claim to the full enjoyment of the fundamental rules of the British constitution; that it is an essential, unalterable right, in nature, engrafted into the British constitution, as a fundamental law, and ever held sacred and irrevocable by the subjects within the realm, that what a man has honestly acquired is absolutely his own, which he may freely give, but cannot be taken from him without his consent; that the American subjects may, therefore, exclusive of any consideration of charter rights, with a decent firmness, adapted to the character of free men and subjects, assert this natural and constitutional right.

It is, moreover, their humble opinion, which they express with the greatest deference to the wisdom of the Parliament, that the acts made there, imposing duties on the people of this province, with the sole and express purpose of raising a revenue, are infringements of their natural and constitutional rights; because, as they are not represented in the British Parliament, his Majesty's Commons in Britain, by those acts, grant their property without their consent.

This House further are of opinion, that their constituents, considering their local circumstances, cannot, by any possibility, be represented in the Parliament; and that it will forever be impracticable, that they should be equally represented there, and consequently, not at all; being separated by an ocean of a thousand leagues. That his Majesty's royal predecessors, for this reason, were graciously pleased to form a subordinate legislature

here, that their subjects might enjoy the unalienable right of a representation: also, that considering the utter impracticability of their ever being fully and equally represented in Parliament, and the great expense that must unavoidably attend even a partial representation there, this House think that a taxation of their constituents, even without their consent, grievous as it is, would be preferable to any representation that could be admitted for them there.

Upon these principles, and also considering that were the right in Parliament ever so clear, yet, for obvious reasons, it would be beyond the rules of equity that their constituents should be taxed, on the manufactures of Great Britain here, in addition to the duties they pay for them in England, and other advantages arising to Great Britain, from the acts of trade, this House have preferred a humble, dutiful, and loyal petition, to our most gracious sovereign, and made such representations to his Majesty's ministers, as they apprehended would tend to obtain redress.

They have also submitted to consideration, whether any people can be said to enjoy any degree of freedom, if the Crown, in addition to its undoubted authority of constituting a Governor, should appoint him such a stipend as it may judge proper, without the consent of the people, and at their expense; and whether, while the judges of the land, and other civil officers, hold not their commissions during good behaviour, their having salaries appointed for them by the Crown, independent of the people, hath not a tendency to subvert the principles of equity, and endanger the happiness and security of the subject.

In addition to these measures, the House have written a letter to their agent, which he is directed to lay before the ministry; wherein they take notice of the hardships of the act for preventing mutiny and desertion, which requires the Governor and Council to provide enumerated articles for the King's marching troops, and the people to pay the expenses; and also, the commission of the gentlemen appointed commissioners of the customs, to reside in America, which authorizes them to make as many appointments as they think fit, and to pay the appointees. what sum they please, for whose mal-conduct they are not accountable; from whence it may happen, that officers of the Crown may be multiplied to such a degree as to become dangerous to

the liberty of the people, by virtue of a commission, which does not appear to this House to derive any such advantages to trade as many have supposed.

These are the sentiments and proceedings of this House; and as they have too much reason to believe that the enemies of the colonies have represented them to his Majesty's ministers, and to the Parliament, as factious, disloyal, and having a disposition to make themselves independent of the mother country, they have taken occasion, in the most humble terms, to assure his Majesty, and his ministers, that, with regard to the people of this province, and, as they doubt not, of all the colonies, the charge is unjust. The House is fully satisfied, that your Assembly is too generous and liberal in sentiment, to believe that this letter proceeds from an ambition of taking the lead, or dictating to the other assemblies. They freely submit their opinions to the judgment of others; and shall take it kind in your House to point out to them any thing further, that may be thought necessary.

This House cannot conclude, without expressing their firm confidence in the King, our common head and father; that the united and dutiful supplications of his distressed American subjects, will meet with his royal and favorable acceptance.

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By the Townshend Revenue Act [No. 38], a duty of 3d. per pound was imposed upon tea imported into the American colonies from Great Britain; but by the Tea Act of the same year the inland duty of 18. per pound was taken off for five years, and a drawback allowed, on tea exported to America, of the entire customs duty payable on its importation into England. The duties imposed by the Revenue Act, except that on tea, were repealed in 1770. But the colonies would not buy tea shipped from England, and most of the tea consumed in America was smuggled in through the agency of the Dutch East India Company. To relieve the British East India Company from certain financial difficulties, an act was passed in May, 1773, again allowing a drawback of the duties payable on importation into England, in case the tea was shipped to America; the tax of 3d. per pound, however, still remaining as an assertion of the principle of the Declaratory Act of 1766 [No. 36]. Upon the passage of the act of 1773, large quantities of tea were sent to America, but

the importation was generally resisted. The most violent opposition was manifested in Boston, where, on the night of Dec. 16, the ships laden with tea were boarded by citizens disguised as Indians, and the tea thrown into the harbor.

Papers relating to the disturbances in America, and especially the proceedings at Boston, were laid before Parliament March 7, 1774, accompanied by a royal message urging the adoption of measures to end the disorder and secure obedience to the laws. On the 14th Lord North, in the House of Commons, asked and obtained leave to bring in a bill to remove the custom house officers from Boston, and to close that port to commerce. A petition from William Bollan, agent for Massachusetts, praying to be heard in behalf of that colony, was laid on the table. The bill was brought in on the 18th, had its second reading on the 21st, and passed on the 25th without a division. It was taken up to the Lords the following day, and passed that House, without a division, on the 30th. March 31 the act received the royal assent. The petition of Bollan was finally rejected by the Commons on the 25th, by a vote of 40 to 170; but he was heard in the Lords on the 30th, before the final vote on the bill. The act was repealed by the prohibitory act of Dec. 22, 1775.

REFERENCES. Text in Pickering's Statutes at Large, XXX., 336-341. The act is cited as 14 Geo. III., c. 19. For the debates in Parliament, see the Parliamentary History, XVII., or Force's American Archives, Fourth Series, I., 5-61; cf. also the Annual Register (1774). The report of the committee of the Lords on the disturbances in Massachusetts is in Force, and also in Almon's Prior Documents, 232-255. Franklin's True State of the Proceedings, etc. (Works, Sparks's ed., IV., 466-515), is a skilful counterpresentation.

An act to discontinue, in such manner, and for such time as are therein mentioned, the landing and discharging, lading or shipping, of goods, wares, and merchandise, at the town, and within the harbour, of Boston, in the province of Massachuset's Bay, in North America.

WHEREAS dangerous commotions and insurrections have been fomented and raised in the town of Boston, in the province of Massachuset's Bay, in New England, by divers ill-affected persons, to the subversion of his Majesty's government, and to the utter destruction of the publick peace, and good order of the said town; in which commotions and insurrections certain valuable cargoes of teas, being the property of the East India Company, and on board certain vessels lying within the bay or harbour of Boston, were seized and destroyed: And whereas, in the present condition of the said town and harbour, the commerce of his Majesty's subjects cannot be safely carried on there, nor the customs payable to his

Majesty duly collected; and it is therefore expedient that the officers of his Majesty's customs should be forthwith removed from the said town: . . . be it enacted . . ., That from and after . . . [June 1, 1774,] . . . it shall not be lawful for any person or persons whatsoever to lade, put, or cause or procure to be laden or put, off or from any quay, wharf, or other place, within the said town of Boston, or in or upon any part of the shore of the bay, commonly called The Harbour of Boston, between a certain headland or point called Nahant Point, on the eastern side of the entrance into the said bay, and a certain other headland or point called Alderton Point, on the western side of the entrance into the said bay, or in or upon any island, creek, landing-place, bank, or other place, within the said bay or headlands, into any ship, vessel, lighter, boat, or bottom, any goods, wares, or merchandise whatsoever, to be transported or carried into any other country, province, or place whatsoever, or into any other part of the said province of the Massachuset's Bay, in New England; or to take up, discharge, or lay on land, or cause or procure to be taken up, discharged, or laid on land, within the said town, or in or upon any of the places aforesaid, out of any boat, lighter, ship, vessel, or bottom, any goods, wares, or merchandise whatsoever, to be brought from any other country, province, or place, or any other part of the said province of the Massachuset's Bay in New England, upon pain of the forfeiture of the said goods, wares, and merchandise, and of the said boat, lighter, ship, vessel, or other bottom into which the same shall be put, or out of which the same shall be taken, and of the guns, ammunition, tackle, furniture, and stores, in or belonging to the same: And if any such goods, wares, or merchandise, shall, within the said town, or in any the places aforesaid, be laden or taken in from the shore into any barge, hoy, lighter, wherry, or boat, to be carried on board any ship or vessel outward-bound to any other country or province, or other part of the said province of the Massachuset's Bay in New England, or be laden or taken into such barge, hoy, lighter, wherry, or boat, from or out of any ship or vessel coming in and arriving from any other country or province, or other part of the said province of the Massachuset's Bay in New England, such barge, hoy, lighter, wherry, or boat, shall be forfeited and lost.

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