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dation, of what ever was understood to be consticecional writing or speaking ; was it then to be a marter, of wonder, that the Americans, with such authorities, to support their opinions, which were in the highest degree flattering to their importance, fhould, in the warmth of their imagination, and the heat of their pasfions, commit extravagances, upon observing an immediare violation of what they had been taught to confider as their most undoubted and unalienable rights? Or was there any reafon to be surprised, that fuch strange and unaccountable contradictions, between fanguage and behaviour, should produce the unhappy confequences which had now happened. This was argumentum ad hominem, and could not be answered by thofe to whom it was applied, without shame and repentance.
That part of the addrefs which related to the ftature of Henry the eight was more warmly disputed, and such arguments were used as the friends of administration could not oppose with arguments of equal force. To bring delinquents. from the province of Massachusetts bay, to be tried at a tribunal in England, for crimes fupposed to be committed in that country, was considered in the first instance, contraryto the spirit of the English constitution. It was said that a man charged with a crime is, by the laws of England, usually tried in the county where the offence is committed, that the circumstances of the crime way more clearly be considered and examined'; and that the knowledge which the jury thereby receive of his general character, and of the credibility of the witnesses might aslift them in pronouncing, with a greater degree of certainty, upon his innocence or guilt. That as the conftitution from a conviction of its utility, had secured that form. of trial to every subject in England, with a colour of
justice, can he be deprived of it, by going to Ameririca ? Is a man's life fortune and happiness, or his character of tefsesteem in the eye of the law, there, than in this country? or are we to mete out different portions of justice to British fubjects which are to leffen in degree, in proportion to their distance from the capital? It was alledged, that if an American has tranfgreffed the laws by committing a crime there, he ought to be tried there for the offence; but cannot justly be torn above 3000 miles from his family and his friends, his business and connections ; from every comfort and countenance, necessary tó fupport a man under fuch i. trying and unhappy circumstances to be tried by a jury that are not his peers, who are probably prejudiced against him, and 'may think themselves fome way interested in finding hiin guilty.
It was further urged, that it would be difficult, if not impoffible, for the accused person to bring over the necessary evidence for his vindication, though he was entirely innocent': that it would require a man to be rich, and to have great substance to bring all the witnesses that might be necessary from Boston to London, and that after all, some might be overlooked that might be of great service, which could not be brought till the trial was over. That on the other side the witnesses against him, supported by the countenance and protection of government, maintained at the national expence, and sure of a compensation for their loss of time, and perhaps having the hope of future reward and provision, would not only be easily collected, but that it was to be feared too many would think it good employment and become eager candidates for the service. That in this situation the case of the accufed would be very hard ; charged with a crime against the authority of the mother country,
the judges who are to determine his fáte, are the peo ple against whom he is supposed to have tranfgressed, those who have constructed the act with which he is charged into a crime, whose passions might be heated and who are at the same time parties, accusers, and judges. The act upon which this trial was to proceed, it was affirmed was framed in an arbitrary and tyrannical reign, and had justly lain buried in oblivion, till now brought forth to answer a temporary and an arbitrary purpose. Many of these arguments were never answered, nor was any reply made, except by a vote, which is the most powerful answer. The mi, niftry were on this occasion unusually languid in the support of their resolutions, and the address which they had made for reviving the statute of Henry the VIII. for when they were asked which of them would own himself the adviser of that measure, they all declined to adopt it. It would appear that either their consciences condemned them, or that they felt the force of their opponent's arguments too powerful to be resisted. The arguments that were used in behalf of the measures that were now pursuing are bút fhort, and have but little force in them, but the reader in justice shall have them as they are.
It was affirmed, that the repeal of the stamp act had not produced the effects that might have been expected; that the colonists instead of gratitude for the tendernefs shewn to their supposed distreffes, had obstinately pursued the same course as before, and fhewed the fame disrespect to governments that such was their licentious opposition to all measures of the legislature, that it became highly necessary to establish fame mark of their dependence upon the mother country. That the late duties so much complained of, on account of the smallness of their produce, were
chosen to answer the abovementioned purpose, at the fame time that they were the least oppressive that could Þe devised, and that the whole produce was to support their own civil establishments. That the inhabitants of the province of Massachuset's Bay were people of republican principles, and licentious in their difpofitions, and being stirred up by factious and designing men, had broken out into daring acts of outrage, and insolence, which sufficiently shewed the original necessity of making them sensible of their dependence on the British legislature ; that by their words and wrirings they seemed rather to consider themselves as members ofan independent state than as a colony and province belonging to this country. That from the ill formed system upon which the government of that colony had been originally established; the council was appointed by the assembly, and the grand juries are elected by the townships ; so that these factious men haying got a lead in the assembly, and being themselves leaders of the popular phrenzy, guided and directed the whole civil government as they pleased ; so that all justice and order was at an end, whereever their interests or passions were concerned. That in these circumstances the populace freed from all legal restraints by these circumstances, those that should have been the conservators of the public peace, set themselves the first examples of all kinds of disorders, and proceeded at length to the commission of such acts, as if not now deemed downright rebellion, would in other times have been judged and punished as such; and which in any construction of the term could be considered but very little short of it. That it was now high time for government to interfere, and effectually to curb disorders, which if suffered to proceed farther could no longer be conside
red by that name. That the example set by the town, of Boston, and the rash and daring measure adopted by their assembly of fending circular letters' to the other colonies, had already produced a great effect ; and if not checked was likely to set the whole continent in a flame, and for that reason some ships of war and troops had been sent to Boston, who without bloodthed or coming to any violent measures, had restored order and quiet, That nothing but the most vigorous measures could bring the colonists to a proper sense of their duty, and of their dependence upon the supreme legislature. That the spirit whịch prevailed at Boston was so totally fubversive of all order and civil government, and the conduct of the magistrates had left so little room for hope of their properly ful. filling their duty during the continuance of the present ferment, that it became absolutely necessary to revive and put in execution the law of Henry the VIII, by which the king is empowered to appoint a commission in England for the trial there, of any of his subjeéts in all parts of the world. That unless that measure was adopted, the most flagrant acts of treafon and rebellion might be committed openly in the provinces with impunity, as the civil power was neither disposed, nor could take cognizance of them. That the persons who were guilty of those crimes, and who had already caused so much trouble and confusion, were no objects of compassion, for any particular circumstances of expence or trouble that might attend this mode of bringing them to justice, which was only to be considered as a small part of the punishment due to their crimes: that it was ungenerous to suppose that government would make an improper use of this law by harrassing of innocent persons; and that there was no reason to question the integrity of