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into any houfe, fhop, cellar, or any other place, where any goods, wares, or merchandizes lie concealed, or are fufpected to lie concealed, whereof the customs and other duties, have not been, or fhall not be, duly paid and truly fatisfied, anfwered, or paid unto the collectors, deputy-collectors, minifters, fervants, and other officers refpectively, or otherwife agreed for; and the faid houfe, fhop, warehoufe, cellar, and other place, to fearch and furvey, and all and every the boxes, trunks, chefts and packs then and there found to break-open."
Thus our houfes, and even our bed-chambers, are expofed to be ranfacked, our boxes, trunks, and chefts broke-open, ravaged, and plundered, by wretches, whom no prudent. man would venture to employ even as menial fervants, whenever they are pleafed to fay they fufpect there are in the house, wares, &c. for which the duties have not been paid. Flagrant inftances of the wanton exercife of this power have frequently happened in this and other fea-port towns. By this we are cut-off from that domeftick fecurity which renders the lives of the most unhappy in fome meafure agreeable. Thefe officers may, under colour of law, and the cloak of a general warrant, break through the facred rights of the domicil, ranfack men's houfes, destroy their fecurities, carry-off their property, and, with little danger to themfelves, commit the moft horrid murders.
And we complain of it as a further grievance, that notwithstanding by the charter of this province, the Governour and the Great and General Court, or Affembly of this province or territory, for the time being, fhall have full power and authority, from time to time, to make, ordain, and eftablish all manner of whole fome and eafonable laws, orders, ftatutes, and ordinances, directions and inftructions, and that, if the fame fhall not within the term of three
years after prefenting the fame to his Majefty in privys council, be difallowed, they fhall be and continue in full force and effect, until the fame fhall be repealed by the Great and General Affembly of this province : yet the parliament of Great-Britain have rendered, or attempted to render, null and void, a law of this province, made and paffed in the reign of his late Majefty George the First, entitled, "An act ftating the fees of the custom-houfe officers within this province;" and, by mere dint of power, in violation of the charter aforefaid, eftablished other and exorbitant fees, for the fame officers; any law of the province to the contrary notwithstanding.
5thly. Fleets and armies have been introduced to fupport thefe unconftitutional officers in collecting and managing this unconftitutional revenue; and troops have been quartered in this metropolis for that purpofe. Introducing and quartering ftanding armies in a free country in times of peace, without the confent of the people either by themfelves or by their reprefentatives, is, and always has been deemed, a violation of their rights as freemen; and of the charter, or compact made between the king of Great Britain and the people of this province, whereby all the rights of British fubjects are confirmed to us.
6thly. The revenue arifing from this tax, unconftitutionally laid, and committed to the management of perfons arbitrarily appointed and fupported by an armed force quartered in a free city, has been in part applied to the most deftructive purposes. It is abfolutely neceffary in a mixt government, like that of this province, that a due proportion, or balance of power, fhould be eftablished among the feveral branches of the legislative. Our ancestors received from King William and Queen Mary a charter, by which it was understood by both parties in the contract, that fuch
a proportion, or balance, was fixed; and therefore every thing which renders any one branch of the legislative more independent of the other two than it was originally defigned, is an alteration of the conftitution as fettled by the char ter; and, as it has been, until the establishment of this revenue, the conftant practice of the general affembly to provide for the fupport of government, fo it is an effential part of our conftitution, as it is a neceffary means of preferving an equilibrium, without which we cannot continue a free state.
In particular it has always been held, that the dependance of the Governour of this province upon the General Affembly for his fupport, was neceffary for the prefervation of this equilibrium; nevertheless his Majefty has been pleased to apply fifteen hundred pounds fterling annually, out of the American revenue, for the support of the Governour of this province independent of the affembly; whereby the ancient connection between him and his people is weakened, the confidence in the Governour leffened, the equilibrium deftroyed, and the conftitution effentially altered.
And we look upon it as highly probable, from the best intelligence we have been able to obtain, that not only our Governour and Lieutenant-governour, but the Judges of the fuperiour court of judicature, as alfo the King's Attorney and Solicitor-general, are to receive their fupport from this grievous tribute. This will, if accomplished, compleat our flavery for, if taxes are to be raised from us by the parliament of Great Britain without our confent, and the men on whofe opinions and decifions our properties, liberties, and lives, in a great measure depend, reccive their support from the revenue arifing from thefe taxes, we cannot, when we think on the depravity of mankind, avoid looking with horror on the danger to which we are exposed! The British parliament have shown their wifdom in making the judges
judges there as independent as poffible both on the prince and people, both for place and fupport; but our judges hold their commiflions only during pleafure; the granting them falaries out of this revenue is rendering them dependant on the crown for their fupport. The King, upon his firft acceffion to the throne, for giving the laft hand to the independency of the judges in England, not only upon himfelf but his fucceffors, by recommending and confenting to an act of parliament, by which the judges are continued in office, notwithstanding the demife of the King, (which vacates all other commiffions,) was applauded by the whole nation. How alarming therefore muft it be to the inhabitants of this province, to find fo wide a difference made between the fubjects in Britain and in America, as the rendering the judges here altogether dependant on the Crown for their fupport.
7thly. We find ourfelves greatly oppreffed by inftructions fent to our Governour from the court of Great Britain; whereby the first branch of our legiflature is made merely a minifterial engine. And the province has already felt fuch effects from thefe inftructions as, we think, juftly entitle us to fay, that they threaten an entire deftruction of our liberties; and muft foon, if not checked, render every branch of our government a ufelefs burthen upon the people. We shall point-out fome of the alarming effects of thefe inftructions which have already taken place.
In confequence of inftructions, the Governour has called and adjourned our General Affemblies to a place highly inconvenient to the members, and greatly disadvantageous to the intereft of the province, even against his own declared intention.
In confequence of inftructions, the Affembly has been prorogued from time to time, when the important concerns of the province required their meeting.
In obedience to Inftructions the General Aflembly was, Anno 1768, diffolved by Governour Bernard, because they would not confent to refcind the refolution of a former houfe, and thereby facrifice the rights of their conftitu
By an Inftruction, the honourable his Majefty's Council are forbid to meet and tranfact matters of publick concern, as a Council of advice to the Governour, unlefs called by the Governour; and if they fhould, from a zealous regard to the intereft of the province, fo meet at any time, the Governour is ordered to negative them at the next election of Councellors. And, although, by the charter of this province, the Great and General Court have full power and authority to impofe taxes upon the eftates and perfons of all and every the proprietors and inhabitants of this province, yet the Governour has been forbidden to give his consent to an act impofing a tax for the necessary support of Government, unless fuch perfons, as were pointed-out in the faid Instruction, were exempted from paying their just proportion of the faid tax.
His Excellency has alfo pleaded Inftructions for givingup the provincial fortress, Caftle-William, into the hands of troops, over whom he had declared he had no controul; (and that at a time when they were menacing the flaughter of the inhabitants of the town, and our streets were ftained with blood which they had barbaroufly fhed.) Thus our Governour, appointed and paid from Great-, Britain with money forced from us, is made an inftrument of totally preventing, or at least of rendering futile, every attempt of the other two branches of our Legiflative in favour of the diftreffed and wronged people: and, left the complaints, naturally occafioned by fuch oppreffion, fhould excite compaffion in the royal breast, and induce his Majefty feriously to fet-about relieving us from the cruel