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dissolves the

An address* to his majesty was also agreed CHAP. II. on, which states in the style of loyalty and real 1769. attachment to the crown, the deep conviction of the house of burgesses of Virginia, that the complaints of the colonists were well founded.

Intelligence of these proceedings having The governor reached the governor, he suddenly dissolved † assembly. the assembly, the members of which then convened at a private house, and having chosen their speaker, moderator, proceeded to form a nonimporting association, which was signed by The memevery person present; and which, being recom- importation mended by them to the people, was subscribed, almost universally, throughout the province.

From the commencement of the controversy, the opinion seems to have prevailed extensively throughout the colonies, that the most effectual means of succeeding in the struggle in which they were engaged, were those, which would interest the merchants and manufacturers of Great Britain in their favour. Associations had therefore been set on foot in Massachussetts, as early as the beginning of May 1768, for the


bers form and sign a nonimportation association.

* See Note, No. VIII. at the end of the volume. † The manner of dissolving this assembly was long recollected in Virginia. The governor, suddenly appearing, addressed them in these words: “mr. speaker, and gentlemen of the house of burgesses, I have heard of your resolves, and augur ill of their effects. You have made it my duty to dissolve you, and you are dissolved accordingly."

CHAP. II. non-importation of goods from that country. 1769. The merchants of some of the trading towns in

the other colonies, especially those of Philadelphia, although perfectly according with their countrymen in opposing the claims of the mother country, refused at that time to concur in a measure, which they deemed too strong for the existing state of things, and it was, for the moment, laid aside. But in the beginning of August, it was resumed in Boston ; and the merchants of that place generally entered into an agreement, not to import from Great Britain any articles whatever, except a few of the first necessity, between the first of January 1769, and the first of January 1770; and not to import tea, glass, paper, or painters colours, until the duties imposed on those articles should be taken off. This agreement was soon afterwards adopted in the town of Salem, the city of New York, and the province of Connecticut; but was not, however, generally entered into through the colonies, until the resolutions and address of the two houses of parliament, which have already beert mentioned, seemed to cut off the hope that petitions and memorials would alone effect the object for which they contended. The proceedings of the house of burgesses of Virginia, which took place very soon after the intelligence of those resolutions and that address had reached America, were, by order of the house, transmitted by their speaker to the

generally taken against the importation of British manufactures.

speakers of the several assemblies throughout chap. II. the continent. The occasion seemed, in the 1769. opinion of the neighbouring colonies, to require measures of greater energy than had heretofore been adopted; and an association, similar to that which had been formed by their elder sister, was entered into by Maryland, North, and South Carolina. The inhabitants of Charleston went Measures so far as to break off all connexion with Rhode Island and Georgia, the inhabitants of which mi colonies, they charged with having acted a" part most singularly infamous from the commencement of the present glorious struggle for the preservation of American rights. This vigorous measure was probably not without its influence, as those provinces soon afterwards entered into the agreements which had now become common throughout America.

In Portsmouth in New Hampshire, where mr. Wentworth, a very popular governor, pos. sessed great influence, there was also discovered a considerable degree of reluctance at adopting this measure; but being threatened with a suspension of their whole intercourse with the other colonies, the merchants of that place likewise, following the example so generally set them, joined in an association similar to that which had been elsewhere very generally adopted.

All ranks and conditions of persons united in giving effect to this agreement. The utmost

CHAP. II. exertions were used to improve the manufac1769. tures of the country; and the fair sex, laying

aside the late fashionable ornaments of England, exulted, with patriotic pride, in appearing dressed with the produce of their own looms. Committees chosen by the people, superintended every where the importations which were made, and the force of public opinion secured, in a great degree, from violation, the

associations which had been formed.

_ The situation of that province rendering a General court legislative grant of money necessary for the sachussetts." purposes of government, the general court of

Massachussetts was again convened. The members of the former house of representatives were generally re-elected, and brought with

them the temper which had occasioned their its proceed- dissolution. Discovering no disposition to enter

on the business for which they were called together, they immediately engaged in a controversy with the governor, * concerning the


again conVened in Mas.

* This contest is thus stated by mr. Gordon. “ The general court being called together according to charter, a committee from the house of representatives remonstrated to his excellency, that an armament by sea and land, investing this metropolis, (Boston) and a military guard with cannon pointed at the door of the state house where the assembly is held, are inconsistent with that dignity and freedom, with which they have a right to deliberate, consult, and determine. They expect that your excellency will, as his majesty's representative, give

removal of the ships of war from the harbour CHAP. II. and troops from the town of Boston, which as 1769. the representative of the crown, they insisted on his power to do.

In the expectation that by removing the general court from a place where the members were, by the great influence of the metropolis, excited to and supported in the system they had adopted, they might be induced to enter on the ordinary business of the country, the governor adjourned them to meet at Cambridge.

Far from producing the intended effect, this measure served to increase the existing irritation. The business recommended to them, remained for some time unnoticed; their altercations with the governor continued, and they entered into several warm resolutions, * enlarg

effectual orders for the removal of the above-mentioned
forces by sea and land out of this port, and the gates of
this city, during the session of the said assembly.' The
governor returned for answer, ' gentlemen, I have no
authority over his majesty's ships in this port; or his
troops in this town.' A few days after receiving this
answer, the house, in a message to him, declared "the
use of the military power to enforce the execution of the
laws, is, in the opinion of this house, inconsistent with
the spirit of a free constitution, and the very nature of
government. The military force is uncontrollable by any
authority in the province; it is then a power without any
check here; and therefore it is so far absolute. What
privilege! what security then is left to this house!”

Gordon's Hist. Am. War, vol. I. P. 259.
See Note, No. IX. at the end of the volume.

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