Page images

ant of Great-Britain,) together with that of the West-India islands, and the Newfoundland fishery, and (in consequence of these loftes) with the diminution of our trade and maritime power, the decrease of the produce of the customs and excise, the leffening of the security of the national debt, and the necessity, at the same time, of continually laying on new taxes, which must, in such a state of things, be principally levied upon the landed property of the kingdom. All these misfortunes, and more, were likely to be the consequence of the failure of success in this atteinpt to subjugate America. And that this attempt would fail of success, was easily foreseen, and publickly and repeatedly foretold, not only by many of the protestant diffenters of the kingdom, but by numbers of people of other descriptions in it, who thought it highly improbable that France (notwithstanding her profeffions of friendship and fidelity to her engagements with Great Britain,) would forbear to interfere in favour of the colonies in one period or other of the dispute, in order to prevent the reconciliation and re-union of those two great members of the British empire, and (to use Dr. Franklin's expression in his memorial to the court of France in the autumn of the year 1777,) to improve the mojt favouralle opportunity that had ever been offered ber, of humbling bir most powerful and bereditary enemy. And now the event has shown that this apprehension was but too well grounded. It ought not therefore to be imputed as a crime to the protestant difsenters of the kingdom, that they opposed that impolitick system of measures which, they saw, was likely to bring ruin on the nation, and deprive his Majesty of a great and most Hourithing part of his dominions ;-and much less onght it to be considered as a crime of fo deep a dye as to warrant the very fevere measures which the Archbishop recommends to be taken against them, of treating them as a set of people who, by principle, are enemies to the constitution of their country, and of extending to them, on that account, the laws formerly made against papists.

them have

As for the other event of this attempt to subjugate America, I mean the successful one, the Archbishop himself has furnished all lovers of civil liberty with the most fubftantial reasons for wishing that it might not happen, by displaying to them the systein of measures which, he thinks, in that event, ought to have been, and would have been, adopted, by those who direct the publick counsels of this nation, for the future regulation of America, to wit, the system which is contained in the first passage above-recited from his grace's ferinon, and of which I have ventured in the foregoing pages to furnish the reader with a paraphrafe. For, if America had been perfectly subdued, and reduced, (as the fashionable expression was,) to unconditional submission, and, in consequence of such reduction, the aforesaid system of measures, (which are described in the above paraphrase, and which I conceive to have been those wbich thc Archbishop must have had in his eye when he preached that sermon,) had been adopted by the British parliament; I must freely confess that I should have thought it a greater misfortune than even the contrary, and more probable, event, which has happened, with all the train of melancholy consequences that seem likely to accompany it,-such as the loss of all ourpoffeffions both in North-America and the West-Indies, together with that of the Newfoundland fishery (though fo valuable to us as a nursery for feamen,) and that of Gibraltar and Minorca, and of all our poffefiions in Africa and the East-Indies. These, I acknowledge, are great misfortunes : but the loss of the civil liberties of the nation, or their being rendered precarious and dependant on the personal character and virlues of the king for the time being, (which would have been the confequence of the system of measures recommended by the archbishop,) would be a much greater. And in this opinion, I trust, I am not fingular, but have the concurrence of thousands and tens of thousands of my fellow-subjects.

66 - Probibe lamenta fonare; Flere veta populos; lacrymas, luctus que remitte: Vincere PEJUS erat." Lucani Pharsalia, Lib. i, vers. 707,708, 709.

F. M.



For the Morning CHRONICLE.

London, August 7, 1782. MR. PRINTER, INCLOSED you have a letter wrote by a gentleman in South-Carolina to his friend in London, without the alteration of a word or syllable. The writer I know to be a native of South-Britain, and that he is a gentleman of large property in America, where he has resided near twenty years. The knowledge and ability of the writer, and the fitness and propriety of the plans and reasons suggested, are submitted to the opinion of the nation ; but whatever the politics of the day may determine, I am confident that Great-Britain will ere long be convinced, that it was her interest and her wisdom to have adopted and pursued them with an ardour, which is due to that patriotism, integrity, and good sense, with which they are recommended by the writer, for the benefit of his King

and country

A. B.

South Carolina, March 28, 1782. In the present situation of affairs, to be filent is to be criminal; and I should ill deserve the confidence and friendship I have so repeatedly experienced from you, if I did not give you my sentiments candidly on the times.

The fall of Lord Cornwallis is, beyond a doubt, a mise fortune of the first magnitude, but by no means places America in so independent a situation as the first com



plexion of this unfortunate event seemed to give it in the eyes of the enemies to Great-Britain ; but I am confining myself to the south country altogether, and, before I write another sentence, I will be free enough to own the impoffibility now of reducing the northern country to obedience, for there I confess it is taking a bull by the borns. But the case is very different to the fouthward. The fall of Lord Cornwallis was not effected by the abilities, members, or resources of America: it was the power of France, it was their superior navy, and the infamous conduct of our own, that did the business : till the French gained this decisive advantage, our troops, though inferior in numbers, marched from one end of Virginia to the other, backwards and forwards, with little or no loss. You will say this is not conquering the country; I grant it; but it is exhaufting it in such a manner, that another campaign, with fuccess, must so cripple it, as to render it incapable of fupporting itself against your operations. Whilst this was doing, about fixteen hundred troops, under a sensible and an a&tive officer, kept North-Carolina not only at bay, but in actual suspense; whilst the Tories were ranging at large, and with support and judicious officers, would have very foon poffeffed themselves of all the principal leaders in that country against Britain. Why nothing was at. tempted to be done in South-Carolina, with ro fine an army, is a paradox only to be solved by comparing it with what was not done to the northward.

Had my humble ideas prevailed either in England or New-York, Green would not have insulted a superior army so long and fo fatally. I proposed (in my mind) that the last reinforcement from England would have been made 1500 strong, and that fuch a number would have been sent into North-Carolina, and either landed at Cape Fear or Edenton ; and forced their march to the westward,


« PreviousContinue »