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PREFACE.

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The period of the American Revolution of which a portion is here treated, divides itself into two epochs; the first extending to the Declaration of Independence; the second, to the acknowledgment of that Independence by Great Britain, In preparing the volume, there has been no parsimony of labor; but marginal references to the documents out of which it has mainly been constructed are omitted. This is done not from an unwillingness to subject every statement of fact, even in its minutest details, to the severest scrutiny; but from the variety and multitude of the papers which have been used, and which could not be intelligibly cited, without burdening the pages with a disproportionate commentary.

From the very voluminous manuscripts which I have brought together, I hope at some not very distant day to cull out for publication such letters as may at once confirm my narrative and possess an intrinsic and general interest by illustrating the character and sentiments of the people during the ten or twelve years preceding the Fourth of July, 1776.

At the close of the sixth volume of this work, some imperfect acknowledgment was made to those from whom I have received most essential service while making my collection of materials. I shall hereafter have occasion to recur to that subject; at this time I desire to express my sense of the friendly regard of many persons in various parts of our country, who have sent me unpublished documents, or historical pamphlets and monographs, such as the liberal and inquisitive are constantly publishing. Whatever can be obtained in the ordinary way through the booksellers, I have no need to solicit; but I am and shall ever be grateful to any person who will forward to me at New York any materials which cannot be obtained except through private courtesy.

NEW YORK, March 31, 1858.

CONTENT S.

CHAPTER I.

AMERICA, BRITAIN, AND FRANCE, IN MAY, 1774. May, 1774.

The hour of the American Revolution, 21-Its necessity, 21-Freedom founded on a universal principle, 22—Most cherished in America, 22—Britain should have offered independence, 23—Infatuation of the king and parliament, 24-France, 25—Increase of monarchical power, 25 - The people of France, 25-Its unity, 26-Decay of the French nobility, 26-They escape military service and taxation, 26—The king master of the treasury, 27-Of the army, 28-Of the church, 28—The magistrates, 28—Municipal charters, 29-Scepticism in France, 29-Degradation of the monarchy, 30—Rising importance of the people, 31—The dauphin, 31-Marie Antoinette, 31-ACcession of Louis XVI., 32-Voltaire's hopes, 32-Beaumarchais, 32-Charles III. of Spain, 33–The mourners for Louis XV., 33–Jealousy between Britain and France, 34—Port act received in Boston, 34-Meeting of nine committeos, 35—The tea not to be paid for, 36–Circular to the colonies, 36%Boston town meeting, 37--Gage arrives, 37--His character, 38—Firmness of Newburyport and Salem, 38—-Of Boston, 39.

CHAPTER II.

NEW YORK PROPOSES A GENERAL CONGRESS. May, 1774.

New York Sons of Liberty propose a general congress, 40m-Formation of a conservative party, 41-Effect of the port act on the people, 42—Connecticut, 42-Providence, 42-New York committee of fifty-one, 42—The king approves two acts against Massachusetts, 43–Philadelphia, 43—Dickinson moderates public feeling, 44–His measures, 45-Second thought of New York, 46-Zeal of Connecticut, 46--Hutchinson's addressers, 46—They are condemned, 47—Samuel Adams suppresses murmurs, 47-Massachusetts legislature organized, 47-Patience of Boston, 48.

CHAPTER III.

VOICES FROM THE SOUTII. May, 1774, continued.

THE SUTFOLK COUNTY CONVENTION. September, 1774.

Gage seizes the powder of the province, 114The people rise, 114-More
councillors resign, 115_Good conduct of the people, 116Opinions of

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