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of the king and parliament, have as. holding redress according to our own iembled together an armed force, en- will and discretion ; our whim, cagaged his majesty's troops, attacked price, or intereft, was the language his forts, and prohibited all trade and lield by every tyrant of every country, commerce with this kingdom." from the firii institution of civil go
This produced a very warm debate, vernment to that day, and of every Administration contended that the tyrant in this country in particular, Georgians had given repeated proofs from William the Conquerorto Charles of their disobedient disposition, as the First. well as the other provinces. That The prohibiting bill was then read they had, in the preceding June, at- a third time, and a motion being made, tacked one of the king's forts, dil that the bill do país, another debate mantlet it, and had thrown the can ensued, when the question being put, non into the river. That they had the House divided, ayes 112, voes 16. sent delegates to the continental con- All the other material parts of this gress, bad formed committees, and bill, having, in the progress of it, Tuperseded the laws, and opposed all been fully devated, the only Itand legal government. And as the fullest made in this last stage, was relative to proof of their real dispositiun, they the forfeitures to be incurred, so far had voted 10000l. for the purpose of as the same related to the trade car: supporting what they called the coin- ried on between North America and mon cause, that was refitting the con- the West India islands. A clause Ititutional authority of this country. was therefore offered, previous to It was urged besides on the part of ad- the main question for the passing of ministration, that they were very the bill, to enlarge the time for the willing to hear evidence, relative to commencement of the forfeitures, but the true state and condition of that it passed in the negative. colony ; but they believed the persons It was urged, that to wreak the remeant to be examined (the West In- venge of a vindictive ministry on the dia merchants and planters) were very Americans, the West India islands improper persons to give the necessary were to be sacrificed in part, if not to information to that House, as they tally deltroyed, by rendering up their looked upon themselves to be intereit. produce for plunder to the sailors ed in the event.
without sufficient notice, so as to preIt was answered, that the motion vent the consequences. That by this now before the House did not relate to infamous ministerial trick, seamen the actual state and condition of the might be procured it is true, probacolony of Georgia, but whether any bly without bounties, hut surely it was evidence at all had appeared before an act of cruelty, unexampled eien the House, fufficient to authorize their among favages, and of injustice unbeing included in the present bill; and precedented, to give up a number of being described in it as traitors, and innocent persons to plunder, who : formally, by an act of the whole le could not have been robbed, if they gillature, proscribed as such. That had not placed an implicit confidence prejudging in the first instance, and in the British parliament. That a inficting heavy and cruel punishments great number of vessels had failed, in pursuance of such prejudgement, previous to the shutting up the ports was a policy unknown to the most de- from America in ballast, and were spotic and tyrannic governments. then loading by the West India planThat such a procedure was, in fact, ters; but that by this bill such of reducing the Georgians to the cruel them as had not carried lumber or necessity of taking up arms in their provisions to the illands, their cargoes own defence, or of submitting to be were liable to seizure and confiscation; Naves; and that making war upon by which means the planter's property people, condemning them untried was to be forfeited, although without and unheard, and on their taking up the gi't of prophecy, he could not arms to defend themselves, defiring have foreseen what is now on the eve th to disarny, and we will hear of being carried into execution ; and their complaints, but will reserve to of courie, that the inhabitants and ourselves the power of giving or with• proprietors of lands in the West India
1776. PARLIAMENTARY HISTORY.
245 islands, must be ruined, fhould the away, they should not be liable to the present unjust and cruel bill be pasied articles of war, or be shot for deserinto a law, because being enfrapped tion. by the restraining bill of lait letion, The commissions for granting parthey trusted a very considerable part of dons in the lump to whole provinces, their property on board American districts, and bodies of men, was vessels, bound for these kingdoms, agreed to be a power unknown to the which will be now liable to conSsca. constitution. The king had no such tion,
pow r; and the parliament ought not HOUSE OF LORDS.
io inveft him with it. It might be December 15. The America prohi: abused in any hands, but trusted into biting bill was this day read a second thole of men, whom parliament were time; and a motion being made for to know nothing of, whom probably committing it, a moit able and ani. his majelly would know nothing more mated debate ensued, which continued than through the medium of his minitill near eleven o'clock, when the Iters, such a power must be abused. question being put, there appeared for Supposing his inajesty to be the most inthe commitment 84, againit it 27, in- teiligent and best informed individual cluiding pruxies on both lides.
in his dominions, he would still be The principle and main objects of liable to be impoled on. Some spoke this bill, as well as the grounds on of forty, others of thirty, none less which it had been combated by oppo- than of twenty commissioners to be fition in the order House, have so fre- fent out under this act. How then quently recurred in the course of this was it poflible for his majesty to be hiftory, that we fhall only take notice acquainted with the abilities or dispo. of such points as
were not before fitions of such a number of men ? But touched, or were only slightly infilted allowing that such a power might be on. These were the tailors, or pref- prudenily velted in the crown; allowfiug clause; the clause of appointing ing that the crown might delegate the commissioners to grant pardons to such trust thus repored in it, into hands provinces, districts, and individuals, every way capable and trust worthy, as miglit think proper to
wbat end would such an appointment to their duty; and to the general answer ? Commissioners would be apcunttruction of the forseitures, whe- pointed, to what purpose ? To grant ther they extended to thips be- pardons. Surely not to treat on any longing to profesed friends, as well terms of conciliation or concession. as enemies; the saine being laid up in The king himself could not do it, by the respective harbours, wbere the his prerogative. He could not do it owners or masters resided.
even by this bill : of course he could On the first head, the lords in op- not delegate a power he had not himposition observed that the clause felf. What end then would the prewhich compelled all persons indiscri- fent clause answer, unless it were to minately taken aboard America tra- amuse the people with unsubstantial ding vessels, to serve aboard his ma- expectations of peace and conciliation ? jesty's ships of war, was the most without even a possibility of success. cruel act of the most wanton tyranny. If pardons only were to be granted, That it was copied froin the barbarous the commission would be nugatory, bepolicy of the piratical Turkiln states, caule America, till reduced by the who chain their slaves to ihe oar, and force of arms, would never consent to compell them to fight against their unconditional submission. If treaty countrymen. But on the other hand, on specific previous conditions was if it was substituted in the place of a pretended, it could be no more than press, it wanted the essential quality mere pretence indeed, because there of that mode of manning our navy ; was not one lord in administration, for though the prisoners made by this however ignorant or ready to mislead, predatory war were to serve in the who dare undertake to say, that the navy, no exception had been made, as present commission would give an agis usual respecting impressed men, thority of any kind whatever, to pro. which is, that in case of running ceed a step further than that of grant.
ing ing, pardons, on the terms of uncon- be treated like alien enemies, or like ditional submillion, on the part of rebels, if found in arms and acting in those who sued for them.
an hostile manner. That as to the On the last head, that of the con- clause relative to the power of pardonstruction of the act, in respect of vel. ing, to be granted to the commissionfels and property lying in the portsers, it vested no new power in the and harbours of America ; it was ob- crown. The crown had at all times ferved, that it was a clause of a most the power of pardoning in the lump, extraordinary nature. The professed and likewise a right to delegate that object of the bill was, to prohibit power. It had been the uniform the colonists from carrying on any custom of all times, from the first ekatrade or intercourse with other coun- blishment of the monarchy. So early tries, because they had pidhibited all as the reign of Edward the First, that trade and commerce with Great-Bri: prince directed a writ to the sheriff tain and Ireland. Now if the act of Northumberland, to authorize meant to confiscate the property of the him to pardon the people of Gallopeople of America wherever found; way. The fame power had been it was evident that the bill meant more exercised from time to time, as occathan it seemed to declare ; and that it fion offered, down to the capitulation was not barely intended as a bill of of the Rebels at Preston, in the year retaliation ; but as a law of conquest, 1715, when a question arose concerndeftruction, and distress, in the man. ing the terms of the capitulation, but ner of a war carried on against alien not about the power of granting parenemies. The opposition pushed this dons to those who surrendered under argument with great force ftill fur- it. The power to grant pardons by ther. They took notice, that admi- the lump, was therefore out of the nistration bad, on that day, as on question; and the right of delegating every former occasion fince the com- that power was equally evident. The mencement of this actual dispute with manner it was constantly exercised America, built their liopes of success by the lords lieutenant of Ireland, chiefly on the dependence they had put the matter beyond a doubt; and a on the friends of government in that late instance, that of the proclamacountry. Why then punish friends tion issued by General Gage, offering and enemies indiscriminately ? Unless pardon to every person in North A. they were determined to make all merica, but two excepted by name America their enemies. For instance, (Mefleurs Hancock and Adams) was there might be many persons well af such a proof, as rendered all further fected to this country, who fore seeing argument or illustration unnecessary. the form, and unwilling to carry on As to the last point, whether persons, an illicit commerce with foreign na- owners and mallers of vessels, enemies tions, or from one part of the conti- or friends, who had vesels, which nent of America to another, would during the present troubles they chose chuse, in expectation of better days, to lay up in dock, would be liable to to Jay up their vesels in docks; and have their veff-Is, their tackle and apfince they could not serve the cause of parel feized and confiscated, there was Great Britain, determine at least not not a doubt; the act meant that every to injure it. In such a case therefore, vessel belonging to America, their administration were called upon to tackle, furniture, and apparel wheredeclare, whether or not the property ever found, with or without a cargo, of such loyal and meritorious men, if thould be subject to forfeiture ; and seized under the authority of this act, the reason for the clause was plainly would be liable to confiscation. this, that if any exception were made,
Administration replied in the first either in respect to where the vessels instance, that compelling the failors were found, or to whom the property to serve aboard his majelty's ships of belonged, it would furnith the means war, was doing them a favour, as be of evading the act, so as to render it ing in pay and employment was much useless, without efficacy or operation. preferable to being confined in prison, Such exceptions would, in fact, anwhich must be the case, if they were to swer no other end, but to embroil the
PARLIAMENTARY HISTORY. captors in endless litigations, and give that our unremitted opposition and them expensive lawluits, instead of remonftrance from the firit to the very prizes.
last stage of this bill, may remain as a December 18. The America prohi. memorial, that some of us at least labiting bill went through a committee, ment this final separation of America but met with no oppolition. The in- with an affectionate regret. We are demnity bill was read a third time, overpowered by numbers, and all our and the Marquis of Rockingham ob- entreaties and remonftrances are in jecting to the preamble, because it yain. An inflexible majority in paronly stated" that doubts having liament have now declared all America arisen,” his lordship moved that the to be an independent hoftile state. bill might be put off for six months, Disputes originally between adminiand the cabinet ministers all uniting stration and America are become, by in the same opinion, though on a the influence of administration, the different ground, that there was no ground of a parliamentary war with occasion for it, the bill was rejected America. The sense of the nation is without a division.
not with that war; and I trust it never December 20. The America prohi- will be. However, speaking in parbiting bill was reported with amend. liament to ministers, as they seem dements, and read a third time. The termined to drive all things to extreMarquis of Rockingham offered a mities, I must ask whether you are to clause, fimilar to that proposed in expect, while you burn their towns, and the cther House, for enlarging the take or destroy their thips and proti.ne for the commencement of the perty, they will fit with their arms forfeitures, in respect of American folded; or whether they will not be vessels having cargoes on board, being driven to repell injury by injury. You the growth of the sugar islands in the lave found their active powers of de Welt Indies. This produced a thort tence, by the experience of the last debate, in which Lord Mansfield de- year ; when by your orders the thed. fended the general measures adopted ding of the first civil blood was preciby administration on one side, and pitated on the fatal 19th of April, beLord Shelburne condemned them on fore your pretended conciliatory mothe other. The question being put on tion could be proposed to any of the the amendment, it passed in the ne. American assemblies. Why were you gative without a division; and a mo- found unguarded in Canada ? Two tion being made, that the bill “ do regiments are taken prisoners. Your pass," it was agreed to of course, and officers are hostages; and yet you a message sent to the Commons to ac- proceed in this unnatural war, with quaint them with the several amend. fire, sword, and rapine. What far, inents which had been made in the ther hostages may fall into their hands bill.
at Boston ; or what blood of our felHOUSE OF COMMONS. low subjects may be Med there, I con. December 21. This day a motion template with horror. I dread some was made to take the amendments fatal event there. When the provin. made by the other House, in the Amea cials hall hear the fate of their la:e rica prohibiting bill, into considera- and last petition; and when they see tion, and the same being read, were all prospect of peace become desperate, severally agreed to. We shall close what can you expect, but that they our account of this bill, by a speech should exert every power to destroy made by Mr. Hartley on that occasion, your land forces in America, during because we are of opinion it contains the severity of the winter, before you matter well worthy of the attention of can support or relieve them. Who every man, who has the general in- will be answerable for tbese things ? terests of this great empire really at When this bill of rapine, which now heart.
lies before you, gets to them, they “ Upon this pause, which is offered will let themselves to retaliate upon to you by the return of this bill from your feet. Your land force bas been the lords, I confess that I feel a kind disgraced and annihilated in the first of superstition, to wish for one last campaign, notwithstanding all your word to deprecate the fatal blow; and boatlings; are we not then to expect
that those ministers of vengeance, who tion have been the aggressors in every thall press on a naval war with Amne. thing, step by step. By this fatal bill rica, Thall be responsible to their coun- of separation, you now declare the try for the consequences of their head- Americans to be enemies in form ; strong and wilful measures? 'f the navy therefore it is yourselves that force of this country mould be brouglit to upon them the rights of enemies. disgrace and defert, weigh the con- You must now be responsible to your fequences. If you lend large mins, country, for the events of your own they will not be able to act ; if (mall war, to which they have been so reones, may they not be overpowered ? luctant, and you to precipitate. When Confider the distance of your opera- this country thall come to open its eyes, tions. Every port in America will be to see and to feel the consequences, a Dunkirk to you. We know their they will know of whom to require an fkill and bravery as privateers in the account. Sir, I fall now move you, Jatt war. In any case, you are laying instead of agreeing to the amendinents the foundation of an hostile marine in of the lords, to adjourn the confideAmerica, which has been, and ought ration of them for fix months ; I conto be, the source of the marine of fess with very little hopes of averting Great Britain. I cannot be an advi. this bill; but as I told you at my outTer or a well-wisher to any of the vin. set, from a superstitious feeling in my dictive operations of the administra- mind, to perform the last ceremonial tion against America, because I think office of affection and farewell to the cause unjust ; but at the saine peace and to America. The fate of time I must be equally earnest to fe- America is caft. You may bruise its cure British property and intereits heel, but you cannot crush its head. from destruction ; neither a victory of It will revive again. The new world Great Britain over America, nor of is before them; Liberty is theirs.' America over Great Britain, can af. They have poffesfion of' a free goford us any matter of triumph. Both vernment, their birth-right and inbe. are equally destructive. if nothing ritance derived to them from their can abate your fury against the Ame- parent state, which the hand of vioricans in this ministerial war, we shall lence cannot wrest from them. If you expect at least, that you should guard talt them off, my last with is to them, our own vuinerable coasts. Are you may they go and prosper. When the guarded at Newfoundland ? Are you final period of this once happy counprepared against anv expedition of re- try inall overtake ourselves, either taliation, if the Provincials (hould through tumult or tyranny, may an: meditate any thing to the destruction other phoenix rise out of our alhes. of your fillieries there ? Administra.
To the EDITOR of the LONDON MAGAZINE.
ARIOUS and extraordinary as for the elucidation of the subaltern adorning the person in this whimsical than what in early times was vulgarly age, yet are they not more so than termed vice: for instance, if my lord, the modith embellishments adopted by under the masque of friendship to you, that part of mankind, distinguished means nothing but to debauch your by the title of the great world, who wife or daughter, it is only a refinement, particularly pique themselves on bon If her Grace is detected throwing a main ton, both in dress and conversation; with loaded dice; why what can be indeed, both one and the other are at said ? It is a refinement. If the colonel present fo masqueraded, that it is as dif- whips his best friend through the ficult to discover what men are, as lungs in an bonourable way, it is a rewhat they fay. This verbage, com- finement, nothing more. If a man of pored of bobby-horse expressions, has faihion is asked why he runs in every gained such an afcendance, that you body's debt, pays nobody, Itares every might as well be dumb as not be body in the face, yet cares for nobody, able to gbble this polimed jargon.-- he answers with an air of fang froid, To the late fashionable word ion, has it is a refinement. succeeded the word refinement, which