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bondage and infults which we, his loyal fubjects, have fo long fuffered, the Governour is forbidden to consent to the payment of an Agent to represent our grievances at the Court of Great-Britain, unless he, the Governour, confent to his election; and we very well know what the man must be to whofe appointment a Governour, in fuch circumstances, will confent,
While we are mentioning the infringements of the rights of this colony in particular by means of Inftructions, we cannot help calling to remembrance the late unexampled fufpenfion of the legislative of a fifter colony, New-York, by force of an Inftruction, until they fhould comply with an arbitrary act of the British parliament, for quartering troops, defigned, by military execution, to enforce the raifing of a tribute,
8thly. The extending the power of the Courts of ViceAdmiralty to fo enormous a degree, as deprives the people in the colonies, in a great measure, of their ineftimable rights to trials by Juries; which has ever been juftly confidered as the grand bulwark and fecurity of English property.
This alone is fufficient to roufe our jealoufy; and we are again obliged to take notice of the remarkable contrast, which the British parliament have been pleased to exhibit between the fubjects in Great-Britain and the colonies. In the fame ftatute, by which they give-up to the decifion of one dependant interested Judge of Admiralty the estates and properties of the colonists, they exprefsly guard the eftates and properties of the people of Great-Britain: for all forfeitures and penalties inflicted by the statute of the fourth of George the third, or any other act of parliament relative to the trade of the colonies, may be fued-for in any Court of Admiralty in the colonies; but all penalties and forfeitures which fhall be incurred in Great-Britain, may be
be fued-for in any of his Majefty's Courts of Record in Westminster, or in the Court of Exchequer in Scotland, refpectively. Thus our birth-rights are taken from us; and that too with every mark of indignity, infult and contempt. We may be haraffed and dragged from one part of the Continent to the other, (which fome of our brethren here and in the country-towns already have been) and finally be deprived of our whole property, by the arbitrary determination of one biaffed, capricious, Judge of the Admiralty.
9thly. The reftraining us from erecting flitting-mills for manufacturing our iron, the natural produce of this country, is an infringement of that right with which God and nature have invefted us, to make use of our skill and industry in procuring the neceffaries and conveniencies of life. And we look upon the restraint, laid upon the manufacture and transportation of hats, to be altogether unrea fonable and grievous. Although, by the charter, all havens, rivers, ports, waters, &c. are exprefsly granted the inhabi tants of the province and their fucceffors, to their only proper use and behoof for ever, yet the British parliament paffed an act, whereby they restrain us from carrying our wool, the produce of our own farms, even over a ferry; whereby the inhabitants have often been put to the expence of carrying a bag of wool near an hundred miles by land, when paffing over a river or water of one quarter of a mile, of which the province are the abfolute proprietors, would have prevented all that trouble.
10thly. The act paffed in the laft feffion of the British parliament, intituled, an act for the better preferving bis Majefty's Dock-Yards, Magazines, Ships, Ammunition, and Stores, is, as we apprehend, a violent infringement of our rights. By this act, any one of us may be taken from his family, and carried to any part of Great-Britain, there
to be tried, whenever it fhall be pretended that he has been' concerned in burning or otherwise destroying any boat or veffel, or any materials for building, &c. any naval or victualling store, &c. belonging to his Majefty. For by this act all perfons in the realm, or in any of the places thereto belonging (under which denomination we know the colonies are meant to be included) may be indicted or tried either in any county or fhire within this realm, in like manner and form as if the offence had been committed in faid county, as his Majefty and his fucceffors may deem expedient. Thus we are not only deprived of our grand right to trial by our peers in the vicinity, but any perfon fufpected, or pretended to be suspected, may be hurried to Great-Britain, to take his trial in any county the King or his fucceffors fhall please to direct; where, innocent or guilty, he is in great danger of being condemned; and whether condemned or acquitted, he will probably be ruined by the expence attending the trial, and his long abfence from his family and bufinefs; and we have the strongest reason to apprehend that we fhall foon experience the fatal effects of this act, as about the year 1769, the British parliament paffed refolves for taking-up a number of perfons in the colonies and carrying them to GreatBritain for trial, pretending that they were authorised fo to do, by a statute paffed in the reign of Henry the Eighth, in which they fay the colonies were included, although the act was paffed long before any colonies were fettled, or even in contemplation.
11thly. As our ancestors came-over to this country that they might not only enjoy their civil but their religious rights, and particularly defired to be freed from the prelates, who in those times cruelly perfecuted all who differed in fentiment from the established church; we cannot fee, without concern, the various attempts which have been
mide, and are now making, to establish an American epifcopate. Our epifcopal brethren of the colonies do enjoy, and rightfully ought ever to enjoy, the free exercise of their religion; but, as an American epifcopate is by no means effential to that free exercise of their religion, we cannot help fearing that they who are fo warmly contend ing for fuch an establishment, have views altogether inconfiftent with the univerfal and peaceful enjoyment of our Chriftian privileges: and doing, or attempting to do, any thing which has even the remoteft tendency to endanger this enjoyment, is juftly looked-upon as a great grievance, and allɔ an infringement of our rights; which is not barely to exercise, but peaceably and fecurely to enjoy, that liberty with which CHRIST hath made us free.
And we are further of opinion, that no power on earth can justly give either temporal or spiritual jurifdiction within this province, except the Great and General Court. We think therefore that every design for establishing the jurifdiction of a Bifhop in this province, is a defign both against our civil and religious rights and we are well informed, that the more candid and judicious of our brethren of the Church of England, in this and the other colonies, both clergy and laiety, conceive of the establishing an American epifcopate as being both unneceffary and unreasonable.
12thly. Another grievance under which we labour is, the frequent alteration of the bounds of the colonies by decifions before the King and Council, explanatory of former grants and charters. This not only fubjects men to live under a conftitution to which they have not confented, which in itfelf is a great grievance; but moreover, under colour that the right of foil is affected by fuch declarations, fome Governours, or Minifters, or both in conjunction, have pretended to grant, in confequence of a Mandamus, L 3 many
many thousands of acres of vacant and appropriated lands near a century paft, and rendered valuable by the labours of the prefent cultivators and their ancestors. There are very notable inftances of fettlers, who, having, firft, purchafed the foil of the natives, have, at confiderable expence, obtained confirmations of title from this province; and, on being transferred to the jurisdiction of the province of NervHampshire, have been put to the trouble and cost of a new grant, or confirmation, from thence; and, after all this, there has been a third declaration of the royal will, that they fhould thenceforth be confidered as pertaining to the province of New-York. The troubles, expences, and dangers, which hundreds have been put-to on fuch occafions, cannot here be recited; but fo much may be faid, that they have been moft cruelly haraffed, and even threatened with a military force, to dragoon them into a compliance with the most unreasonable demands.
A LETTER of Correfpondence to the other Towns.
BOSTON, November 20, 1772
WE, the freeholders and other inhabitants of Boston, in town-meeting duly affembled, according to law, apprehending there is abundant reafon to be alarmed that the plan of Defpotifm, which the enemies of our invaluable rights have concerted, is rapidly haftening to a completion, can no longer conceal our impatience under a conftant, unremitted, uniform, aim to inflave us, or confide in an administration which threatens us with certain and inevitable deftruction.