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cil, appointed by, and dependant upon the crown.

The noble Lord expatiated upon these different subjects, and having brought a great number of facts and arguments to shew the impolicy, injustice, tyranny, and iniquity of that law, declared, that it deserved to be reprobated by the unanimous voice of parliament, and that if there remained the smallest regard for liberty and the constitution in one part of the House, or for the Protestant religion in the other, they must necessarily concur in their censure. He then proposed a bill, which was read to the House, for the repeal of the late act, and which was not to take effect until the 1st of May, 1776, thereby to afford time for the providing of a proper form of government for that pro


This measure was strongly opposed by administration, and a motion was made by the nobleman who presided at the head of the American department, that the bill should be rejected. They contended on that side, that the French Canadians were rendered exceedingly happy by the late law; in support of which assertion, they produced an address to General Carleton, the Governor, upon his arrival in that province, and another to the King, wherein they expressed their thanks and gratitude for being restored to their ancient rights and privileges, These, they said, were indubitable proofs how much the people were pleased, and expected to be benefitted by the change, and removed every doubt of the utility of the present system. They represented the British settlers, supposing them to have concurred unanimously in the matter of the petition, to be,

comparatively, only a handful of people; and insisted, that upon no one principle of good policy, justice, or public faith, near an hundred thousand peaceable loyal subjects should be rendered unhappy and miserable, merely to gratify the unreasonable request of two or three thousand persons, who wished for what was impracticable, and thought themselves deprived what they had in possession.


As much censure had been expressed or implied, both within doors and without, relative to the whole conduct of the bishops in the Canada transactions, as if they had not only neglected, but abandoned the interests of the Protestant religion, the reverend Father of that venerable bench now stood up to justify the Quebec act, so far as it related to religious matters; which he did upon the principles of toleration, the faith of the capitulation, and the terms of the definitive treaty of peace. After long debates, in which much extraneous matter seemed to be purposely brought in, and a long law contest, between a learned Lord high in office and the noble framer of the bill, the motion for its rejection was carried upon a division, at ten o'clock at night, by the majority of sixty, the numbers being 88, who opposed, to 28 Lords only, who supported the bill. The two royal Dukes, and brothers, were in the minority upon this division.

About the same time, an- 18th. other petition from the same, inhabitants of Quebec was presented to the House of Commons by Sir George Saville, in which, besides the matters they had stated in the two former, they represented, that a petition to his maje-ty,

in the name of all the French inhabitants of that province, and upon which the late law had been avowedly founded, was not fairly obtained, and had neither received the concurrence, nor even been communicated to the people in general; on the contrary, that it had been carried about in a secret manner, and signed. by a few of the noblesse, advocates, and others who were in their confidence, through the suggestions, and under the influence the clergy; and they affirmed, that the inhabitants in general, the French freeholders, merchants and traders, were as much alarmed as themselves, at the introduction of the Canadian laws. They concluded by praying, that the said act may be repealed or amended, and that they may have the benefit and protection of the English laws, in so far as relates to personal property; and that their liberty may be ascertained, according to their ancient constitutional rights and privileges.

The gentleman who introduced the petition, having exercised that acuteness of disquisition, and that liveliness of imagery, by which among other eminent qualities he is distinguished, in examining and laying open the weak or obnoxious parts of the Quebec act, and throwing a new light even upon those which had already undergone the highest degree of colouring, concluded his speech with a motion for repealing the late act for the better government of the province of Quebec. Though this motion produced some considerable debates, the subject was already so much exhausted, that they could not be very interesting; excepting that the minister, in the course of them,

avowed his intention, if it should become necessary, of arming the Canadians against the other colonies. He, however, declared his firm persuasion, that the troubles in America would be settled speedily, happily, and without bloodshed. The motion as rejected upon a division by a majority of more than two to one, the numbers being 174 to, 86.

The money-bills which received the royal assent, at the close of the session, were accompanied with a speech from the Speaker to his Majesty, stating the heaviness of the grants, which nothing but the particular exigencies of the times could justify in a season of profound peace; he, however, gave an assurance, that if the Americans. should persist in their resolutions, and the sword must be drawn, the Commons would do every thing in.. their power to maintain and support the supremacy of this legislature. He besides praised the late law for determining controverted elections, and concluded by expressing his confidence, that the money now granted would be faithfully applied to the purposes for which it was appropriated.

May 26th,

In the speech from the throne, the rost perfect satisfaction in their conduct, during the course of this important session, was expressed. It was said, that they had maintained, with a firm and steady resolation, the rights of the crown and the authority of parliament, which should ever be considered as, inseparable; that they had protected and promoted the commercial interests of these kingdoms; and they had, at the same time, given convincing proofs of their readiness

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(as far as the constitution would allow them) to gratify the wishes, and remove the apprehensions of the subjects in America; and a persuasion was entertained, that the most salutary effects must, in the end, result from measures formed and conducted on such principles. A favourable representation was made of the pacific disposition of other powers, and the usual assurance given of endeavouring to secure the public tranquillity. Much concern was expressed, that the unhappy disturbances, in some of the colonies, had occasioned an augmentation of the land-forces, and

prevented the intended reduction of the naval establishment from being completed; and great thanks were returned for the chearfulness and public spirit with which they had granted the supplies. It concluded with the usual recommendation, to preserve and cultivate, in their several counties, the same regard for public order, and the same discernment of their true interests, which have in these times distinguished the character of his Majesty's faithful and beloved people; and the continuance of which cannot fail to render them happy at home, and respected abroad.

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State of affairs in America during the sitting of parliament. Preparations. Ordnance seized in Rhode-Island. A fort taken, and powder seized in New-Hampshire. Resolutions of the general congress approved of and confirmed in different places-rejected by the assembly of New-York. Proceedings of the new provincial congress in Massachusett's Bay. Detachment sent to seize on some cannon at Salem. Dispute at a draw-bridge, Affair at Lexington and Concord. Loss on both sides. Province rise in arms. Boston invested by great bodies of the militia. Provincial congress address the people of Great-Britaia. Measures pursued for the array and support of an army; pay of the officers and soldiers fixed, and rules for its regulation and government published. Capitulation with the inhabitants of Baston not adhered to. Continental congress meet at Philadelphia. Resolutions for the raising of an army, the establishment of a paper currency, and to prevent the British fisheries from being supplied with provisions. Application from the people of New-York to the congress. Crown-Point and Ticonderoga surprized. Generals and troops arrive at Boston. Engagements in the islands near Boston. General congress resolve that the compact between the crown and the province of Massachusett's Bay is dissolved. Erect a general post-office. Proclamation of rebellion by Gen. Gage. Action at Bunker's Hill. Light-house burnt. Consequences of the Quebee act. Declaration of the general congress, in answer to the late proclamation. Address to the inhabitants of Great-Britain—to the people of Ireland. Petition to the king. Georgia accedes to the general confederacy. Gen. Washington uppointed commander in chief of all the American forces by the general congress, URING these transactions America. Whatever hesitation or day becoming more dangerous in with the timid, or principles of


every might before have operated.


caution and prudence with the moderate, they were now all removed by the determinations of the general congress. These became immediately the political creed of the colonies, and a perfect compliance with their resolutions was every where determined upon, as soon as the general sense of the people could be obtained. The unanimity which prevailed throughout the continent was amazing. The same language was held b town and provincial meetings, by general assemblies, by judges in their charges, and by grand juries in their presentments; and all their acts tended to the same point. It was a new and wonderful thing to see the inhabitants of rich and great commercial countries, who had acquired a long established habitual relish for the superfluities and luxuries of foreign nations, all at once determined to abandon those captivating allurements, and to restrain themselves to bare necessaries. It was scarcely an object of greater admiration, that the merchant should forego the advantages of commerce, the farmer submit to the loss of the sale of his products and the benefits of his industry, and the seaman, with the numberless other persons dependant upon trade, contentedly resign the very means of livelihood, and trust to a precarious subsistence from the public spirit or charity of the opulent. Such however was the spectacle, which America at that time, and still in some degree, exhibited to the world.

Great hopes were however placed on the success of the petition froin the continental congress to the throne. Nor was it supposed, that their general application to the people of England would have been

unproductive of effect. A still greater reliance was not unreasonably placed upon the effect which the unanimity and determinations of the congress would produce, in influencing public opinions and measures at home.

These hopes and opinions had for a time a considerable effect in restraining those violences which afterwards took place. But however well they might seem to be founded, and however general their operation, the principal leaders, and most experienced men, did not appear to build much upon them, and accordingly made some preparation for the worst that might happen. The southern colonies began to arm as well as the northern, and to train and exercise their militia; and as soon as advice was received of the proclamation issued in England to prevent the exportation of arms and ammunition to America, measures were speedily taken to remedy the defect. For this purpose, and to render themselves as independent as possible of foreigners for the supply of those essential articles, mills were crea ed, and manufactories formed both in Philadelphia and Virginia, for the making of gunpowder, and encouragement given in all the colonies for the fabrication of arms of every sort. Great difficulties however attended these beginnings; and the supply of powder, both from the home manufacture and the importation, was for a long time scanty and precarious.

The Governor's proclamation against the provincial congress in Massachusett's Bay, had not the smallest effect, either upon the proceedings of that assembly, or the conduct of the people, who paid an


implicit obedience to its determinations. As expresses continually passed between that body and the general congress, no doubt can be entertained, that its measures were regulated by their opinion. The critical situation of the capital was an object of much consideration; nor was it easy to determine in what manner to provide for the safety of the inhabitants, and to prevent its becoming a sore thorn in the side of the province, if matters should proceed to extremity. From its natural advantages of situation, with the works thrown up on the Neck, Boston was already become a very strong hold; and was capable, with little difficulty, of being rendered a place of such strength, as, under the protection of a navy, would leave but little hope of its being ever reduced. From the same causes it was liable to be converted, at the discretion of the Governor, into a secure prison for the inhabitants, who would thereby become hostages for the conduct of the province at large.

Different proposals were said to be made to prevent or remedy these evils. One was, simply, to remove the inhabitants; another, to set a valuation upon their estates, . burn the town, and reimburse them for their losses. Both these schemes were found to be clogged with so many difficulties as rendered them impracticable. Force was the only expedient which could be applied with success; but they did not as yet seem disposed to proceed to that extremity. In the mean time, numbers of the principal inhabitants quitted the town, under the real or pretended apprehension of in:mediate violence from the troops, or of being kidnapped and sent to

England, to stand trial for supposed offences.

The provincial congress having done all the business that was thought proper or necessary for the present, dissolved themselves towards the end of November, having first appointed another meeting to be held in the ensuing month of February. This cessation afforded an opportunity to the friends of government, or loyalists, as they now called themselves, to shew themselves in a few places; to try their strength and mumbers, and to endeavour to resist the general current. Some associations for mutual defence were accordingly formed, and a refusal was made, in a few towns, to comply with the resolutions of the provincial congress; but the contrary spirit was so prevalent, that those attempts were soon quelled. The dissentients were overwhelmed by numbers. All these attempts came to nothing.

As soon as an account was received at Rhode Island, of the prohibition on the exportation of military stores from -Great-Britain, the people seized upon and removed all the ordnance belonging to the crown in that province, which lay upon some batteries that defended one of the harbours, and amounted to above forty pieces of cannon of different sizes. A captain of a man of war having waited upon the governor to enquire into the meaning of this procedure, was informed with great frankness, 'that the people had seized the cannon to prevent their falling into the hands of the king's forces; and that they meant to make use of them to defend themselves against any power that should offer to molest them. The assembly of that

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