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regiments arrive at Boston.
CHAP. 11. road. The application of the governor to the 1768. council, to provide quarters for them in Boston, Sept. 28. had been rejected, because there were barracks Two British sufficient for their reception in the castle; and
by act of parliament the British troops were to be quartered no where else, until those barracks should be full. But a report having prevailed that the people about Boston were in a state of open revolt, general Gage, who had originally directed one regiment to be stationed in the town, transmitted such orders as, combined with the threats which had been uttered of opposing the debarkation of the troops, induced
the commanding officer to determine to land October 1. both regiments in Boston. The fleet, therefore,
was put in motion, and took a station which commanded the whole town. The ships of war lay with their broad sides towards the town, with springs on their cables, and their guns ready for firing on the place should any resist. ance be attempted. These formidable preparations having been made, the troops began to land about one o'clock in the afternoon under cover of the cannon of their ships. This being effected without experiencing any opposition, they marched into the common with loaded muskets and fixed bayonets, in all that military pomp and parade which indeed are usual on
such occasions, but which were believed by CHAP. II. the inhabitants to be then displayed for the 1768. purposes of intimidation or irritation.
The select men, as well as the council, having refused to provide quarters in town for the troops, the state house was, by order of the governor, opened for their reception, and they took possession of all the apartments belonging to it, except that which was reserved for the council; and two field pieces with the main guard were stationed just in its front. The utmost indignation and disgust were excited among the people at seeing the chamber of their representatives filled with regular soldiers, their counsellors surrounded with foreign troops, and their whole city exhibiting the appearance of a garrisoned town. The inhabitants complained too of being challenged as they passed and repassed; and the devout were disturbed by military music which often offended their ears during divine service. With the difference of manners between the soldiers and the inhabitants of the town, and the strong prejudices reciprocally entertained against each other, it is not wonderful that personal broils should frequently occur, and that mutual antipathies already so strong should be still further increased.
CHAP. II. While these measures were pursuing in 1768. America, every session of parliament was
opened with information from the king, that a disposition to refuse obedience to the laws, and to resist the authority of the supreme legislature of the nation, still prevailed among his misguided subjects in some of the colonies. In the addresses answering the speeches from the throne, both houses uniformly expressed their abhorrence of the rebellious spirit mani. fested in the colonies, and their approbation of the measures taken by his majesty for the restoration of order and good government.k
To give a more solemn expression to the sense of parliament on this subject, joint resolutions * of both houses were at length entered into, condemning in the strongest terms the measures pursued by the Americans; and an address was likewise agreed on, approving the conduct of the crown, giving assurances of effectual support to such further measures as might be found necessary to maintain the civil magistrates, in a due execution of the laws within the province of Massachussetts Bay; and beseeching him to direct the governor of that colony to obtain and transmit to his majesty information of all treasons committed in Massachussetts since the year 1767, with the names of the persons who had been most active in CHAP. II. promoting such offences, that prosecutions 1768. might be instituted against them within the realm, in pursuance of the statute of the 35th of Henry VIII.
* See Note, No. VII, at the end of the volume.
These threatening declarations, which seem to have been particularly directed against Mas. sachussetts Bay* in the hope that the other provinces might be deterred from involving themselves in her dangers, made no impression on the colonists in any degree favourable to the views of the mother country. Their resolution to resist the exercise of the authority claimed by Great Britain not only remained unshaken, but manifested itself in a still more determined form.
* These resolutions originated in the house of lords, and passed both houses by immense majorities. In the debate in the house of commons, mr. Barré commented with great force on their being levelled particularly at Massachussetts when the offence of resistance was common to all the colonies. He said, “ away with these partial resentful trifles, calculated to irritate, and not to quell or appease; inadequate to their purpose, unworthy of us ! why will you endeavour to deceive yourselves and us? you know that it is not this place only which disputes your right, but every part. They tell you that you have no right from one end of the continent to the other. My sentiments of this matter you well know. Consider well what you are doing. Act openly and honestly. Tell them, you will tax them; and that they must submit. Do not adopt this little, insidious, futile plan; they will despise you for it.”
of the house
CHAP. II. Not long after these votes of the British par. 1769. liament, the assembly of Virginia was convened May. by lord Botetourt, a nobleman of the most
conciliating and popular manners, who had recently been appointed governor of that colony. A copy of the proceedings having already been received, the house took into their immediate
consideration the state of the colony, and passed Resolutions unanimously several resolutions, asserting in of burgesses the most decisive terms, the exclusive right
of that assembly to impose taxes on the in. habitants within his majesty's dominion of Virginia, and their undoubted right to petition for a redress of grievances, and to obtain a concurrence of the other colonies in such petitions. Alluding particularly to the joint address of the two houses to the king, they also resolved, that all persons charged with the commission of any offence within that colony, were entitled to a trial before the tri. bunals of the country, according to the fixed and known course of proceeding therein, and that to seize such persons and transport them beyond sea for trial, derogated in a high degree from the rights of British subjects, as thereby the inestimable privilege of being tried by a jury from the vicinage, as well as the liberty of summoning and producing witnesses on such trial, will be taken away from the party accused.