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REGISTER OF PENNSYLVANIA.
DEVOTED TO THE PRESERVATIOX OF EVERY KIND OF USEFUL INFORMATION RESPECTING THE STATE.
EDITED BY SAMUEL HAZARD.
VOL. II.-NO. 16.
PHILADELPHIA, NOV. 1, 1828.
STAMP ACT TIMES.
ties to be paid, in specie, into the exchequer of Great
Britain. As to the Spanish trade, the court of Madrid We copy from “Prior Documents,” the following pa- court, as well as in compliance to the old law, and trea
had always been against it; and in complaisance to that pers relating to the Stamp Act in 1765. They are pub- ties with Spain, it continued to be prevented as much e lished not with a view to revive the feelings, but to ex- as possible. hibit the spirit of that time, and as being intimately con
The Americans complained much of this new law nected with the revolutionary history of the state; to of obtaining specie, and next being ordered to pay
and of the unexampled hardship, of first being deprived which, in the course of this work, the attention of the the new duties in specie, into the treasury at London, reader will be frequently directed. The sketch of his- which, they said, must speedily drain them of all the tory, which precedes these documents, appears suffi- specie they had.' But what seemed more particularly ciently full and connected without further additions.
hard upon them, was a bill brought in the same session,
and passed into a law, 'To restrain the currency of pa“The dispute between Great Britain and America per money in the colonies.' commenced in the year 1764, with an attempt to pre- At the same time, (March 10, 1764) the House of vent smuggling. There are some persons who appre Commons resolved, that it was proper to charge certain hend the secds of it were sown much earlier.
stamp duties in the colonies and plantations. In 1764, the British ministry having come to a reso- In the spring of 1765, the American agents in London lution, to prevent, as much as possible, the practice of were informed by administration, That if the colonies smuggling, not only the commanders of the armed cut- would propose any other mode of raising the sum in. ters stationed on the British coast, but of the ships sent tended to be raised by stamp duties, their proposal to America, were ordered to act in the capacity of reve: would be accepted, and the stamp duty laid aside. The nue officers, to take the usual custom-house oaths, and agents said they were not authorized to give any an. observe the custom-house regulations; by which that en swer, but that they were ordered to oppose the bill terprising spirit of theirs, which had been lately, with when it should be brought into the house, by petitions great success, exerted against the common enemy, was questioning the right claimed by parliament of taxing now directed and encouraged against the subject. Trade the colonies. was injured by this measure. The gentlemen of the The bill laying a stamp duty in Ameriea, passed in navy were not acquainted with custom-house laws, and March 1765. therefore many illegal seizures were made: The sub
The Stamp Act was printed and cried about the ject in America could get no redress but from England, streets at New York, by the title of The Folly of Eng. which was tedious and difficult to obtain.
land and Ruin of America. On the 14th of April, the A trade had for many years been carried on between guns at Philadelphia, were discovered to be all spiked the British and Spanish colonies, consisting of the manu- up, and on looking at those of the barracks, they were factures of Great Britain, imported by the British colo- found to be served in the same manner, to the great nies for their own consumption, and bought with their surprise and uneasiness of the inhabitants. own produce; for which they were paid by the Spa
About the beginning of August the colonists began niards in gold and silver, sometimes in bullion and some seriously to think of the steps they were to take. A times in coin, and with cochineal, &c. occasionally. General Congress of representatives of all the colonies, This trade was not literally and strictly according to
was agreed on, to meet at New York. law, yet the advantage of it being obviously on the side of Great Britain and her colonies, it had been connived phia, having appointed a committee to attend at the Ge
On the 10th of September, the assembly of PhiladelBut the armed ships, under the new regulations, neral Congress at New York, a letter from the speaker seized the vessels; and this beneficial traffic was sudden; of the Massachusetts assembly was read, and the house ly almost destroyed. Another trade had been carried came to the following resolutions on the questions: on between the North American colonies and the French
First, Whether the house are of opinion, that, in duty West India islands, to the great advantage of both, as to their constituents, they ought to remonstrate to the well as to the mother country. These matters had been winked at many years, in consideration of the quantity liament, by which heavy burdens have been laid on the
crown against the stamp act, and other late acts of par. of manufactures our North American colonies were
colonies. thereby enabled to take from us. This advantageous
Resolved in the affirmative. commerce not only prevented the British colonies being drained of their current specie by the calls of the mo
Secondly, Whether this house will appoint a commit. ther country, but added to their common circulation of tee of three or more of their members, to attend the cash; which increased in proportion with the trade. But congress proposed in the foregoing letter, to be held at this trade being also cut off by the cruisers, all America New York on the first of October next, for the purposes
therein mentioned. became uneasy.
Resolved in the affirmative. On the 10th of March 1764, the House of Commons agreed to a number of resolutions respecting the Ame- In Philadelphia, the house of assembly met on the rican trade; upon a number of which, a bill was brought 21st of September, and came to the following resolu. in, and passed into a law, laying heavy duties on the ar- tions: ticles imported into the colonies from the French, and “ The house taking into consideration, that an act of other islands in the West Indies, and ordering those du. I parliament has lately passed in England, for imposing VOL. II,
certain stamp duties, and other duties on his Majesty's nued to toll until evening, and every countenance added subjects in America, whereby they conceive some of to the appearance of sincere mourning. At four in the their most essential and valuable rights, as British sub-afternoon, several thousands of citizens met at the State jects, to be deeply affected, think it a duty they owe to House to consult on proper measures to prevent the exthemselves and their posterity, to come to the following ecution of the stamp act. It was agreed to send a depuresolutions; viz.
tation of seven persons to Mr. Hughes, the stamp-masResolved, N. C. D. That the assemblies of this pro- ter for that province, (who was then sick in bed) to re vince have, from time to time, whenever requisitions quest he would resign his office. He readily declared, have been made by his Majesty, for carrying on military that no act of his should assist the carrying of that law operations for the defence of America, most cheerfully into execution, till it was generally complied with in the and liberally contributed their full proportion of men other colonies, but refused to sign any resignation. and money for those services."
When this report was made by the deputies to the State Resolved, N. C. D. That whenever his Majesty's ser- House, the citizens were enraged to that degrce, that it vice shall, for the future, require the aids of the inhabi- is hard to say to what lengths their fury would have cartants of this province, and they shall be called upon for ried them, had not thedeputies represented Mr. Hughes that purpose, in a constitutional way, it will be their in- as at the point of death; this moved their compassion, dispensable duty most cheerfully and liberally to grant and they agreed to make their demand in writing, and to his Majesty their proportion of men and money, for give Mr. Hughes till the Monday following to make a the defence, security, and other public services of the reply. And on Monday the deputies read the following British North American Colonies.
answer aloud to all the multitude assembled: Resolved, N. C. D. That the inhabitants of this province are entitled to all the rights and privileges of his
Philadelphia, Monday morning,
October, 7, 1765. Majesty's subjects in Great Britain, or elewhere; and that the constitution of government in this province is
“ Whereas about six o'clock, on Saturday evening founded on the natural rights of mankind, and the noble last, a paper was sent to me, expressing, that a great principles of English liberty, and therefore is, or ought number of the citizens of Philadelphia, assembled at the to be, perfectly free.
State House, to demand of Mr. John Hughes, distributor Resolved, N. C. D. That it is the inherent birth- of stamps for Pennsylvania, that he will give them assurright, and indubitable privileges of every British sub-ance, under his hand, that he will not execute that office; ject, to be taxed only by his own consent, or that of his and expect that he will give them a fair, candid, and dilegal representatives, in conjunction with his Majesty, rect answer, by Monday next at ten o'clock, when he or his substitutes.
will be waited on for that purpose." Saturday, October Resolved, N. C. D. That the only legal representa-5, 1765.'. tives of the inhabitants of this province, are the persons and all their associates, that I have not hitherto taken
“I do therefore return for answer to those gentlemen they annually elect to serve as members of assembly.
Resolved therefore, N. C. D. That the taxation of the any step tending to put the late act of parliament into people of this province, by any other persons whatso-execution in this province; and that I will not, either hy ever than such their representatives in asseinbly, is un- myself or my deputies, do any act or thing that shall constitutional, and subversive of their most valuable have the least tendency to put the said act into excelirights.
tion in this province, until the said act shall be put into Resolved, N. C. D. That the laying taxes upon the in-execution generally in the neighbouring colonies, and habitants of this province in any other manner, being this I am determined to abide by manifestly subversive of public liberty, must of necessary
“And whereas my commission includes the three consequence, be utterly destructive of public happiness counties of New-Castle, Kent, and Sussex, upon Dela
Resolved, N. C. D. That the vesting an authority in ware; I do, therefore, hereby voluntarily inform the the courts of admiralty to decide in suits relating to the good people of those counties, that no act of mine shall, stamp duties, and other matters, foreign to their proper either directly or indirectly, involve them in any difficuljurisdiction, is highly dangerous to the liberties of his ties with respect to the said stamp act, before the same Majesty's American subjects, contrary to Magna Charta, shall take place generally in the neighbouring colonies the great charter and fountain of English liberty, and
JOHN HUGHES." destructive of one of their most darling and acknowledged rights, that of trials by juries.
Philadelphia, Od. 12, 1765. Resolved, N. C. D. That it is the opinion of this house Gentlemen--Having been confined to my bed twenthat the restraints imposed by several acts of parliament ty-five days past, with a violent disorder that was exon the trade of this province, at a time when the people pected would have proved mortal, but thank God am labour under an enormous load of debt, must of necessi- now able to set up in bed, I shall
' attempt to give you a ty be attended with the most fatal consequences, not sketch of not only my own conduct, but also that of the only to this province, but to the trade of the mother presbyterians and proprietary party here, relative to the country.
stamp office. Resolved, N. C. D: That this house think it their du. In May last I received information by a letter from ty thus firmly to assert, with modesty and decency, their Doctor Franklin, that he had recommended me for chief inherent rights, that their posterity may learn and know, distributor of the stamps in this province, and thus the that it was not with their consent and acquiescence, that matter rested, until some gentlemen to the eastward reany taxes should be levied on them by any persons but ceived their commissions, whereupon mobs arose in setheir own representatives; and are desirous that these veral of the eastern provinces, and the officers were their resolves should remain on their minutes, as a testi- obliged to resign; but as a prelude to the destruction mony of the zeal and ardent desire of the present house and disorder made by those mobs, the printers in each of assembly to preserve their inestimable rights, which, colony, almost without exception, stuffed their papers as Englishmen, they have possessed ever since this pro- weekly, for some time before, with the most infiammavince was settled, and to transmit them to their latest tory pieces they could procure, and excluded crery posterity.”
thing that tended to cool the minds of the people; these On the 5th of October the stamps arrived at Philadel measures they pursued, until the presbyterians in partiphia, the ship which brought them baving laid some time cular, in every colony, began to threaten the stamp offiat Newcastle upon Delaware, under protection of a man cers; and those gentry in this province, about the beginof war. When the ships first appeared round Glouces- ning of September, began to be very noisy, and some of 1er point, all the vessels in the harbour hoisted their co-them said, I ought to resign; I gave them for ansier, lours balf-staff bigh, the bells were muffied; and conti-l I had as yet no commissic, therefore could not resign what I had not. However, about the middle of Septem- stamps, as they assumed the supreme power in the prober, it was reported that the stamps would arrive in cap. vince; they then looked at one another for awhile, and tain Friend, who was then expected, and these riotous seemed somewhat confused; but, at last, Mr. Tilghman gentry began to threaten they would destroy the stamps replied, we did not come here prepared to speak to that as soon as they arrived; I thcrefore being desirous, or as head; then another repliec, let Mr. Hughes take care of far as in me lay, to preserve the stamps, wrote on the them. I answered, Gentlemen, that cannot be, as you 17th the letter (No. I.) to his honour the governor, but have now fixed matters; for were I to take the stamps received no answer, and as the stamps did not arrive in into my care, I should have your party come about my captain Friend, matters rested until October the 2d, house, and pull it down, and destroy both me and them. when I received the paper, (No. II.) being a note from Well, says another, let the governor take care of them; Captain William Dovel, a tool of the party, and there another then says, perhaps the governor will call upon fore I wrote my answer (No. III.) to Mr. Dickeson, the Mr. Hughes to put the act in execution, and when he owner of the ship, and on the next day wrote my letter declines, the governor perhaps will appoint an officer, (No. IV.) to his honour the governor, but received no and the act may take place. Here a general pause enanswer, and here matters rested until Saturday the 5th sued, but at last one and all cried out, let us see who of October, when I received information, that the ship will dare put the act in execution; upon the governor's with the stamps was come up to the town that day, and appointment we will take care of that; by this time the that a mob would be collected, by bcating muffled paper (No. VII.) was transcribed, and after I had signdrums through the street, and ringing the state-house ed it, they went away to proclaim it to their friends, and and church bells muffled, which was accordingly done the next day I wrote the letter (No. VIII.) to the all the afternoon, but at two o'clock the post arrived governor, and received the under-written verbal answer with the mail and packet, and, among other things, my by my son. commission; this the party ventured to allege, because there was a large packet for me; accordingly the mob
“My health, at this time, will not permit me to be collected, chiefly presbyterians and proprietary emissa. what I have said, is sufficient to inform you, gentlemcy,
more expeditious on this very extraordinary transaction; ries, with the Chief Justice's (Mr. William Allen) son at and the lords commissioners, that unless my hands are their head, animating and encouraging the lower class.
About three o'clock the following persoris, viz. James strengthened, it will never be in my power to put the Tilgkman, Esq. attorney at law, Messieurs Robert Mor
act in execution.
“Periaps their lordships, and you, gentlemen, may ris, Charles Thompson, Archibald M'Call, John Cox, William Richards, merchants, and Mr. William Brad expect that the governor will exert himself on the occa. ford, printer, came to me on a deputation from a great for on the day that the mob were collecting, and after
sion, and strengthen my hands; but this will not happen, number collected at the state-house, to request my resize the drums began to beat, I am informed his honour left nation. I answered, it is true, I now have my commis- the city, and probably after the attorney-general, who sion, but as two gentlemen are bound for my perform- is recorder of the city, left it also; whether the inayor ance, in the sum of £5000, I could not resign unless in- and chief justice are now in the city I cannot say, but demnify my bail. Altercation on this subject took up this is certain, that no one magistrate or public officer near an hour, (low as I was) and at last they said, all that appeared abroad the whole day, to discourage the mob, was expected of me, was, that I would not put the act in pleasure was knowns, or until the act should be put in strengthened, so as it will be in my power to do my duexceution in the province, until his majesty's further cr give the least aid or protection. All
, therefore. that
I shall add on this head, is, that if ever my hands are execution in the neighbouring colonies; to this I thought proper to signify some disposition to comply, because i ty, as chief distributor of the stamps, I shall not fail to had many informations by my friends, that the mob in- comply with the duties of my office in the strictest mantended to proceed to the last extremities, if I did not re
ner, and then I hope will sufficiently save my securities sign; upon this the deputation withdrew to consult their in their lordships and your opinion, as it is now out of associates
, and at six o'clock I received the paper, (No. my power to discharge my duty until the face of affairs V.) being a peremptory demand; then the matter rest
are changed. ed until Sunday morning, when having recovered my
“ In paper (No VII.) you will observe the three spirits a little from the fatigue of that long altercation counties upon Delaware included in iny resignation, the aforesaid, I looked over the paper, and found it more po- reason of which was, that on Saturday the 6th of Octo. sitive than what had been mentioned the day before, and ber, a friend of mine privately sent up a little boy to inthetefore sent für Mr. Charles Thompson, one of the de- form me, that he had reason to believe, a mob was unit. putation, and asked him if they were sincere the day ing in those counties, and would soon be up at Philadel. before, or whether they came to wiredraw what they phia. This I knew would raise a second mob, and there. would first, and then force the rest, because, I observed, fore I did not prevent it, and it has had the desired efthe paper sent me did not agree with the proposition fect. made to me; he said he was sincere, and could only an
“I am now to acknowledge the receipt of a letter swer for himself
: I replied, well, gentlemen, you must from the secretary of the stamp office, and also a bill of look to yourselves, for this is a high affair; be made an- lading for three cases and seven packs of stamps for this swer, thus I do not know, but hope it will not be deem- province, exclusive of those for New Jersey and Maryed rebellion. Indeed, sir, I know no other name for it. ryland, but there is neither invoice, nor bills of parcels, Well, says he, i know not how it may end, for we have nor any account of the prices of the stampt paper, or not yet determined, whether we will ever suffer the act parchment, is to be sold at. I have seen a printed pato take place here or not, and took his leave. On Mon- per, said to be the prices of the stamps, &c. but as the day morning, at ten o'clock, the whole deputation came, bill of lading makes me liable to the freight, I should and I offered them the paper (No. VI.) and after some be glad to know whether the freight is included in these consultation, among themselves, they objected to their printed papers, or not; if I bad received the stamps, I names being inserted. I said, why sure, gentlemen, you should have been at a loss on the 1st of November how have not done a thing you are ashamed to own; not in to proceed, but as things now stand, there is time for the least, they said, but there was no necessity for their my being fully informed, and especially with respect to names being inserted, nor would they receive that resig. the invoices or bills of parcels, without which it is im. nation: whereupon, 1 said to Mr. Tilghman, come, sir, possible for me to know what I am charged with at the take the pen and please yourself, for I see you are de stamp office, and how far the goods received agree with termined to be arbitrary; he then took the pen, and the charge. formed the paper (No. VII.) and when it was transcrib- "I am further to inform you, that I received in the ing, I asked ihem what they intended to do with the packet sent by your secretary, a bond, which, in his letter
he directed I should execute before the governor, or ly, that her empire in North America is at an end; for I some other person of note, and send it back to the stamp dare say the mobbing gentry will immediately proceed office by the first conveyance, which I should have to other extravagancies, as they will begin to think their punctually complied with, had I been in health, and united power irresistible. had not our over--ruling gentry, the mob, thought fit to “ That God, of his infinite goodness may direct the direct otherwise; however, 'I have the bond in my custo- councils and measures of his Majesty, of his ministers, dy, and whenever there is a prospect of carrying the to that which may be best for Great Britain and North act into execution, shall not fail to execute the bond, America, is, and shall be the constant prayer of, genand transmit it to the stamp office by the first opportuni- tlemen, your most obedient and most humble servant, ty, and also do every thing in my power faithfully to dis
JOHN HUGHES. charge my duty.
To the Commissioners "ï am further to inform you, gentlemen, that I am of the Stamp office. extremely obnoxious to the governor, and that for no other reason, than that I have constantly, while I have
No. I. been in the assembly, endeavoured to promote the
Philadelphia, Sept. 17, 1765. king's interest, and given opposition to some favourite As great riots and disturbances have happened in some schemes that tended to retard his Majesty's service. of the neighbouring colonies, occasioned by a dislike the
“I am also unfortunate enough to be particularly people have to the stamp act, and it beingʻreported that hateful to the chief justice, because I have charged him the stampt papers, &c. for the province, may be expectin the house of assembly with being a rebel, upon his ed in a little time, and, as his Majesty's revenue is deepsaying, “That if ever the government was changed, we ly interested in the preservation thereof, think it my should find the king's little finger heavier than the pro- duty to acquaint you, that notwithstanding of any reports prietor's loins." This declaration he made in the house spread of my being named by the officers for this proof assembly more than once, and I often alleged that his vince, that i have not received either bond, commisallegation tended to alienate the affection of the subject sion, nor any other information whatsoever, of my apfrom the king, and therefore was treason, and that none pointment from the stamp office, or lords of the treasubut a rebel would be guilty of it. I also am particularly ry, and therefore I can have no pretension whatsoever hateful to the proprietary party, because it was my inte- to take charge of the paper should they arrive. This rest, assiduity, and influence in the house of assembly, information I have thought necessary to give you, that you that enabled the province to send home Doctor Frank- may take measures in the premises, as you sball think lin, to present our petitions for a change of government consistent with your duty and judgment. I am, sir, your from proprietary to royal, which I hope is effected by most obedient, humble servant, this time.
JOHN HUGHES. “ Since writing the above, I am informed that Benja. To the Hon: John Penn, Esq. min Shoemaker, Esq. who is one of the people called Lieutenant Governor of quakers, also an alderman of the city, met with the Pennsylvania. drummers as they were alarming the city, and took them to task, requiring to know by what authority they
No. II were endeavouring to raise a mob, they answered, if he would go to the State House he might know; he then Mr. Dickenson is in town from London, and the ship asked who ordered them to beat about the streets; they Charlotte is at Newcastle, and do not chuse to bring her said they had their orders from the coffee house. (N. B. up till you give orders about the stamp papers, as she is Kept by the before-mentioned Mr. Bradford.) Mr. Shoe- a valuable ship. maker then forbid them to proceed any further, and he
WILLIAM DOWELL. said he would go immediately to the mayor and have I pray send an answer by bearer. them committed; they answered, they could get the Philadelphia, 5 o'clock, 2d of October, 1765. mayor's order when they pleased. But Mr. Shoemaker could not find the Mayor nor any officer to assist him,
No. III. and therefore was obliged to desist, lest he should draw Mr. Dickenson-I received your kind notice by Mr. the mob upon himself and family, and so have his house Bradford, and for answer, am to inform you, that I have pulled down.
not received from the lords of the treasury, nor from any “If some rule and order does not take place in Ame- other person appointed by his Majesty, any commission rica, I am very sure every person who has been named or public information of my being the officer of the proto the stamp-office, must leave North America shortly, vince of Pennsylvania, and therefore cannot pretend to or they and their families will fall a sacrifice to the de- any right to take charge of those papers; nor should I, luded populace.
were they now at the wharf; the governor is the officer "Common justice calls upon me to say, the body of of the crown, whose duty it is to preserve and secure the people called quakers, seemed disposed to pay obe- those papers; to him I refer you for directions how to dience to the stamp act, and so do that part of the proceed in the premises, and I make no doubt his hoChurch of England and baptists, that are not some way nour the governor will take care to see that the papers under proprietary influence. But presbyterians, and are landed in a place of security, and there kept safe proprietary minions, spare no pains to engage the Dutch until some person properly commissioned shall appear and lower class of people, and render the royal govern- to demand them. Signed by order of my father, ment odious, but at the same time profess great loyalty
JOHN HUGHES, jun. to the best of kings, and yet insinuate that his immediate To Mr. Dickenson.-Copy of government is intolerable. If his Majesty and his minis- a letter sent by Mr. Brad. ters knew the pains taken by the proprietary partisans
ford's son. to give a wrong bias to the minds of his Majesty's subjects, I am confident they would not suffer the powers
No, IV. of government to remain six months in the hands of any Sir I enclose you a letter I received last evening proprietor on the continent; neither ought the powers from Mr. William Dovell, by which I understand that the of government to be lodged in any private person, it stamped papers are arrived at Newcastle in the Cbar. being disadvantageous to both his Majesty's subjects. lotte, that the owner of the vessel does not care to or
“I shall conclude with the following observation, viz. der his ship into the port while these papers are on That if Great Britain can, or will suffer such kind of board, lest some violence should be done to her; and as conduct in her colonies to pass unpunished, a man need I have not the least power from the lords of his Majes. not be a prophet, nor the son of a prophet, to see clear. I ty's treasury, or any other public board, authorizing me
to receive them, and as his Majesty's revenue is con
No. VII. cerned in their preservation, I thought it my duty to Philadelphia Monday Morning, October 7, 1765. give you the information, that you might take such
[Sce p. 244.) measures therein as your prudence should suggest. I am, Sir, yours,
Philadelphia, Tuesday Morning, Oct. 8, 1765.
JOHN HUGHES. Sir-I make no doubt but you have heard that a great To John Penn, Esq.
number of people were collected at the state house on
Saturday last, by causing muffled drums to beat through No. V.
the streets of this city, and by ringing the state house A great number of the citizens of Philadelphia assem- bell muffed, and by directing all enquirers to repair to bled at the State House, do demand of Mr. John Hughes, the state house for information; and that after the people distributor of stamps for Pennsylvania, that he will give were collected, a deputation was sent to me demanding them assurance under his hand that he will not execute my resignation of the office of chief distributor of stamps. that office, and expect a fair, candid, and direct answer for this province. I am well informed, that great numby Monday next ten o'clock, when he will be waited on bers of the ringleaders and promoters of this meeting for that purpose.
declared and vowed destruction to my person and proSaturday, Oct. 5, 1765.
perty if I refused to gratify them in their demands.
My resignation is accordingly made, and I beg you will
be so kind as to inform me where the stamps are depoNo. VI.
sited, that I may by this day's post inform the lord's of Philadelphia, Monday morning, the treasury what situation they are in. This you must
October 8, 1765. know it is my duty to do, as the stamps were consigned Whereas, I was applied to on Saturday last, about 3 But as I am confined to my bed, and also restrained by
to me by their lordships, and I have the bill of lading. o'clock in the afternoon, by the following gentlemen, viz
. James Tilghman, Esq. attorney at law, Messrs: the people from executing my office, it is not in my powRobert Morris, Charles Thompson, Archibald M'Call
, er to know what is to be done in the premises, I thereJohn Cox, and William Richards, merchants; Mr. Wil fure pray your answer by the bearer, my son, which will
oblige, sir, your humble servant, liam Bradford, printer, who assured me they were sent by a great number of people then assembled at the To the Hon. John Penn, Esq.
JOHN HUGHES. State House, in order to request me to resign the stamp office, and after some conversation on the subject, Mr.
The Governor returned the following verbal answer, viz: Robert Morris, and some others, declared, that it was not expected or desired that my resignation should be
Let Mr. Hughes know the stamps are on board the
man of war. any other than the not accepting the office, and declar
Philadelphia, Nov. 2, 1765. ing every step or measure that should tend to put the late stamp act into execution, until his Majesty's fur: with sent, nothing very extraordinary has been attempt
Gentlemen,--Since my last, a copy whereof is herether pleasure should be known, or until the act shoulded by the mob, as the great men here would fain have be generally carried into execution in the neighbouring it termed and believed on your side the water, and I colonies; and if that should happen, I was then at liberty make no doubt but it will be so represented by the proto do as I thought proper: and whereas about six prietary governor, and his friends; but the truth is, that o'clock the same evening, a paper was sent me by some if the governor, or any half dozen of the magistrates, of these same gentlemen, in behalf
, as I understand, of had called the sheriff and constable to their assistance, all those collected at the State House as aforesaid, de it would have been very easy for them, with the assista claring, that a great number of the citizens of Philadelphia, assembled at the State House, do demand of Mr. the amount of not less than seven or eight hundred men
ance of my friends then collected about my house, to John Hughes, distributor of stamps for Pennsylvania, that he will give them assurance under his name, thał of reputation, who would have assisted the civil officers he will not execute that office, and expect that he will at the risque of their lives, as I did to suppress the Paxgive them a fair, candid and direct answer by Monday ton riot, that intended to destroy the Indians at the bar.
racks. next at ten o'clock, when he will be waited on for that
I am now informed the governor has taken the oath purpose.
Saturday, Oct. 5, 1765.
prescribed by the stamp act, but his friends keep it a
secret, and say, 'who knows that he has,' but it will soon I do therefore return for answer to those gentlemen, appear here, for that will alter his conduct; the commisand all their associates, that I have not hitherto taken sioners and government may depend that I will commuany slep tending to put the late act of parliament in nicate things as they happen, though it is at the risque execution in this province, and that I will not either by of my life; for the party, by their tools, frequently give myself or my deputies, do any act or thing that shall out, that if they knew the man that would so far assist have the least tendency to put the said act into execu- Britain as to inform against any man, in this or any other tion in this province, until his Majesty's future pleasure province, he should not live many hours; and I do assure shall be known, or until the said act shall be put in exe- the government and commissioners, that all positive cution in the neighbouring colonies, and this I am de- charges made by me, can be proved by reputable wit termined to abide by, unless either the governor or nesses. But whether his Majesty or his ministry can, or commander in chief of this province for the time being, will wink at and overlook these insults and outrages, and shall call upon me to execute the said act.
permit their colonists to refuse obedience to an act of And whereas my commission includes the three coun- parliament, and also declare it illegal and unconstituties of Newcastle, Kent, and Sussex, upon Delaware; I tional, and also permit the printers here to publish weekdo therefore hereby voluntarily inform the good people ly the most violent and inflammatory pieces that ever of those counties, that no act of mine shal: either direct. were wrote, and I am of opinion, that if these continenly or indirectly involve them into any difficulties with tal papers for the two or three months past were examinrespect to the said stamp act, before the same shall take ed, many of them would be found rather to exceed the place in the neighbouring colonies, or until his Majesty's North Briton, (No. XLV.) in alienating the affections future pleasure shall be known, or until the governor of the people from his Majesty, and animating them to and commander in chief for the time being of those rebellion, and yet at the same time call themselves Engcounties, shall call upon me as aforesaid, to execute the lishmen, and profess the highest degree of loyalty to his said act.
Majesty. I some time tell some of our warm blades, (Copy.)
JOHN HUGHES. that it is a piece of inconsistency to call themselves Eng.