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Account of all the Proceedings in New-York, in relation to the Tea

New York, May 12, 1774.

To the Printer of the New York Gazetteer.

Sir: When any man attempts to call the attention of the public to his compositions, under the specious character of an advocate for truth, he should strictly adhere to the principle he pretends to maintain; otherwise, however loud and artful ho may be in his profession, they will consider him as an imposter. I was led to these reflections in perusing the animadversions, published in your Gazetteer, on the conduct of the inhabitants of this city, relative to the dismission of Captain Lockyer, and his tea, and the narrative thereof, in Mr˙ Gaines' s Gazette.

It may justly be expected, that when an anonymous author calls for names to authenticate, facts, which he disputes, he will not be deficient in that kind of proof to support his assertions or suggestions, which he requires of others; but the contrary is evident to every one, who will be at the trouble to peruse the paper in question. Every man of information in this Colony, knows that it contains gross misrepresentations, to say no worse; for the Assembly, and the inhabitants of this Colony have, more than once, declared their abhorrence of the Revenue Act, and consequently, of the importation of tea, while the Act exists; and therefore, if Great Britain and the other Colonies were fully informed of our sentiments, relative to the obnoxious Act, it would not be necessary to take any notice of the animadverter. He would in that case be left to the just reproaches of his fallow citizens, of which, I am persuaded he is not ignorant. But as the paper under consideration, was designed to induce a belief in those places, that we are greatly divided in this city upon the Revenue Act, and the point of returning the tea; and that it was done by the approbation only of an inconsiderable number: I shall, therefore, for the information of those who are at a distance from us, and the honour of the Colony, show these representations to be void of truth. This will appear, by a proper attention to the following facts, viz: In the Session of Parliament of 1767, the Commons of Great Britain gave to his Majesty, the property of the Americans, by granting, among other imposts, three pence sterling per pound, for every pound weight, avoirdupois, of tea, which should be, imported from Great Britain into any Colony or Plantation in America." The merchants of this city, and a great number of the other inhabitants of all ranks, being alarmed at this attempt to enslave them, on the 27th of August, 1768, signed an agreement to decline the most valuable part of their commerce with Great Britain, until this Act should be repealed; and the violators of this compact were declared to be "deemed enemies of their country." This compact, commonly called the Non-Importation, met with the general approbation of the citizens, which was demonstrated by their conformity to it. In consequence of this, the Captains of our ships, trading to Great Britain were, by standing orders from their owners, forbid to take on board there any of the goods prohibited by the agreement. In order that the sense of the Colony might be known, the General Assembly in their next Session, on the 31st of December, 1768, passed the following resolution, with several others, declarative of our rights and privileges, viz:

"Resolved, nem˙ con. That it is the opinion of this Committee that no tax, under any name or denomination, or on any pretence, or for any purpose whatsoever, can or ought to be imposed or levied, upon the persons, estates, or property of his Majesty' s good subjects, within this Colony; but of their free gift, by their Representatives, lawfully convened in General Assembly."

This resolution had evidently the Revenue Act for its object. The opinion of the Colony, in legal consideration, having been thus declared, against the Parliamentary principle of taxing the Colonies, by Parliamentary authority; it was judged of equal importance to the common cause of America, that a declaration should be representatively made of the public sense, on the means which the merchants and others had adopted, to defeat the execution of that act, which proclaimed to the world, that the Americans had no property they could call their own. Accordingly, on the 10th of April, 1769, Mr˙ Philip Livingston, an eminent merchant of this city, made the following motion in the Assembly, viz:

"That the thanks of this House be given to the merchants of this city, and Colony, for their repeated, disinterested public spirit, and patriotic conduct, in declining the importation, or receiving goods from Great Britain, until such Acts of Parliament as the General Assembly had declared unconstitutional, and subversive of the rights and liberties of the people of this Colony, should be repealed; and that Mr˙ Speaker signify the same to the merchants at their next monthly meeting.

Ordered, That Mr˙ Speaker signify the thanks of this House to the merchants of this city, at their next monthly meeting accordingly."

After advice was received in 1770, of the partial repeal of the Revenue Act, a number of the merchants were inclined to import such goods from Great Britain as were not subject to the payment of an American duty; and in order to induce the consent of the citizens to depart from the first form of the non-importation agreement, they, on the 12th of June, 1770, published a paper, which they intended as the basis of the new agreement. It contains, among other stipulations, the following, viz˙ — "If any goods shall arrive contrary to this and our former agreement, they shall be re-shipped immediately. And any persons, masters of vessels, or others, that shall import or receive a consignment of any dutiable goods (that is subject to the payment of duties in America,) shall be deemed enemies to the Colonies, and treated accordingly." From this it appears that the old agreement was confirmed, so far as it prohibited the importation of merchandise, subject to an American duty. The importation of goods was resolved upon the 9th of July, 1770, agreeable to the plan proposed in that paper, the non-importation agreement thus restricted, continued, as it still does, in full force, until we ware alarmed with accounts in the latter end of September, 1773, by the arrival of our London ships, that the East India Company intended to ship their own tea for America. The masters of these vessels gave public information, that it had been offered to them on freight; and that they had refused to receive it. For this patriotic and spirited conduct, they at a meeting called for the purpose, by advertisement, received the public thanks in writing, from a great body of merchants, and a number of other inhabitants, in which honour, Captain Chambers, whose apostacy could not be foreseen, had his share. Our citizens, being thus informed of the refusal of our London Captain' s, it was concluded, that such refusal would discourage the India Company from shipping their tea; and therefore, it was judged unnecessary to call a meeting at that time, to agree on pre-cautions against an event which was not expected; especially as the friends of the intended consignees gave frequent assurances, that they well know the sense of the inhabitants on the subject, and were resolved to refuse the trust on the arrival of the tea.

A number of our citizens, however, fearing that the tea ship would bring the first intelligence that the tea was actually shipped, were jealous that it might be landed, unexpectedly, and therefore, without proper opposition. For this reason, they had frequent meetings, to concert a plan for guarding against the danger. And at one of those meetings, a committee was appointed to present, who accordingly did present to the consignees, the following Questions, viz:

"First, Are you, gentlemen, Commissioners, satisfied that it is contrary to the general sense of the inhabitants of this city, that the tea about to be imported by the India Company, should be received or sold by you?

Second, Will you, gentlemen, declare upon your honours, that in case you are appointed the Commissioners, for the sale of the said tea, that you will not receive, or sell, or be in any respect aiding or assisting in receiving or selling the same?

November 24, 1773."

To these queries, they gave the following Answer, in writing:

"Gentlemen: At present we have received no appointment from the East India Company, nor any certain information on what terms the tea is to coma out to this Colony; when it arrives, (if addressed to us) the community shall be acquainted with the conditions on which it is sent. Should the tea be shipped, liable to the payment of the American duty, we believe it is against the sentiments of the inhabitants, that it should be sold by us, or any other person, and there-fore we cannot execute the commission; nor shall we in any respect, act therein contrary to the general sense of our fellow-citizens. New York, November 25th, 1773."

These gentlemen, when they were certainly informed that the tea was shipped, subject to the duty, did, in compliance with their engagement, make the following resignation to a Committee who waited on them for that purpose, to wit:

"The Agents since find, that the tea will come, liable to American duty; and agreeable to their former promise, have declined receiving and selling it under that predicament.

New York, December 1, 1773."

That no means might be neglected to secure a unanimity of conduct in the several Colonies, on so important a point, an instrument of association was fromed; fifteen hundred copies of which were printed and dispersed through the city; that the inhabitants might be well apprised of its contents, before they were requested to sign it. This association paper, in its preamble, most fully and expressly declares against the unconstitutional imposition of taxes on the Colonies, by authority of Parliament; particularly points at the evil of importing tea, subject to duty; expresses the warmest sense of liberty in the subscribers; their resolution, by all lawful means, to defeat the pernicious project; to transmit to posterity the blessings of freedom, derived from their ancestors; and to contribute to the support of the common liberties of America; which were, (as they still are) in danger of being subverted. It contains five resolves, substance declaring, "the abettors of the importation, landing, carting, storing, sale and purchase of tea, subject to Parliamentary duty, and until the statute 7 George the Third, chapter 46, commonly called the Revenue Act, shall be totally and clearly repealed, — enemies to their country. That whether such duty be paid in Britain or America, our liberties are equally affected; and that the subscribers will neither deal with, employ, or hive any connection with the transgressors of any of those resolves." In short, it contains the strongest terms of opposition, without actual violence, against the importation of that commodity, under those circumstances, leaving the use of force to prevent the mischief, to be resolved in some future time, in case any emergency might thereafter render that measure unnecessary. Of this association paper, none among us can be ignorant. It was signed by a vast number of our inhabitants, including most of the principal lawyers, merchants, landholders, masters of ships, and mechanics in the city, under the name and style of the Sons of Liberty of New York; was published in Mr˙ Holt' s New York Journal, number 1615.

On the 16th of December last, a Committee of the Associates, published an advertisement in this (No˙ 35,) and Mr˙ Holt' s paper, No˙ 1615, and in handbills, dispersed about this city, cordially inviting the Association of the Sons of Liberty, and every other friend of the Liberties and Trade of America, to met at the City Hall, on the next day, at one o' clock, on business of the utmost importance. At the time and place appointed, about two thousand of the inhabitants, though the weather was bad, attended on the occasion, and were addressed by one of the members of the Association, who informed them, that on request of a number of his fellow-citizens, he had several letters to communicate to the assembly, from the Committee of Correspondence at Boston, and a letter from Philadelphia, relative to the importation of the East India Company' s tea. The letters were accordingly read, and a committee of gentlemen chosen, by suffrage of the meeting, without a dissenting voice, to correspond with our sister Colonies on the subject. After this, the association paper, which had then been signed, as above mentioned, was publicly read; and the Speaker having put the question, whether they agreed to the resolves it contained? It passed in the affirmative, nem˙ con.

So respectable was this meeting, that Government thought proper to send a message to them by the Mayor and Recorder, which was delivered to the whole body by the first Magistrate of the city, to the following purpose: "That the Governor declared that the tea should be put into the Fort at noon-day; and engaged his honour that it should continue there, till the Council should advise it to be delivered out, or till the King' s order, or that of the proprietors should be known; and that then the tea would be delivered out at noon-day."

Having communicated his message, he asked, "Gentlemen, is this satisfactory?" The question was answered with a general no! no! no ! The Speaker of the meeting then read, with a loud voice, the Act of Parliament, imposing the duty on tea; and after some proper remarks on the disposal of American property, by the Commons of Great Britain, and observing that the duty became due on landing the tea, he put the following question, "Is it then, gentlemen, your opinion, that the tea should be landed under this circumstance?" This was carried so generally in the negative, that there was no call for a division.

He having then informed the assembly that the patriotic inhabitants of Philadelphia and Boston had determined that no tea, subject to duty by Parliamentary authority, for raising a revenue in America, should be landed in either of those places; it was Resolved, nem˙ con˙, "That this body highly approve of that spirited and patriotic conduct of our brethren of the city of Philadelphia, and the town of Boston, in support of the common liberties of America;" and it was voted, that those proceedings should be published, and transmitted by the Committee, to the other Colonies; which was accordingly done.

And to show that our citizens were determined not to preclude themselves from the use of force, if it should be necessary, to prevent the landing of dutied tea, it is notorious, that on the Monday following, a few persons, among whom Messrs˙ Jacob Walton and Isaac Low, were the most active, endeavoured to procure a subscription to the following paper:

"Whereas an Association has been lately entered into, by the inhabitants of the city of New York, concerning the tea now expected from England, on account of the East India Company, and a doubt has arisen, whether it is the general sense of the subscribers, and the rest of the inhabitants, that the landing or storing of the said tea should be opposed by force?

"We the subscribers, to remove the said doubt, as far as concerns our respective sentiments, do declare, and resolve as follows:

1˙ That we do concur with the parties to the said association, that the said tea ought not, on any account, to be suffered to be sold or purchased while it remains subject to a duty imposed by the authority of Parliament, for the purposes of an American revenue.

2˙ That to carry this resolve into execution, a firm and rigorous opposition ought to be given to all persons who shall attempt to betray our liberties, either by purchasing or vending the said tea.

3˙ That we are determined to have no agency in landing or storing the said tea.

4˙ That as our liberties, with respect to this imposition, must effectually be secured by a strict adherence to the preceding resolves, we do not conceive it necessary or expedient to hazard the peace of the city, by opposing the landing or storing the said tea with force.

Dated in New York, the — day of December, 1773."

But the general sense of the citizens ran so much against the last resolve, that they were obliged to abandon the project on Tuesday; having been able, with the utmost industry, to procure, only a few subscribers. In the evening of that day, an express arrived, with an account of the destruction of the tea at Boston; which made so deep an impression on the minds of those who were foremost in promoting the last mentioned resolves, that some of them declared, that the tea expected, would not be safe in the city.

In this state matters continued until the tea ship had arrived, and we had received intelligence from Philadelphia that Captain Chambers had taken on board eighteen boxes of fine tea, at the port of London, attended with a regular clearance. The arrival of the tea ship at the Hook, induced the Committee of Correspondence, who relied on the well known general sense of the inhabitants, to appoint a Committee of Observation, to attend her, and to watch the arrival of Captain Chambers. When Captain Lockyer came up to town, he was informed by the city Committee, antecedent to the appointment of the Committee of Observation, that the general sense was fully against the landing of the tea; and attended him to the house of the Honorable Henry White, Esquire, one of his Majesty' s Council, and one of the consignees, where they informed him that the same general sense was, that he should not presume to go near the custom-house; but make the utmost despatch in procuring necessaries for his voyage. To this declaration, which was fully authorized by the above mentioned transactions, he answered, that as the consignees would not receive the tea, he would comply with the injunction. The city Committee, appointed four other Committees to watch the ship London, on her coming into the harbour, and attend her day and night, till her cargo should be discharged. Saturday, the 23d of April, being fixed for Captain Lockyer' s departure, an handbill was circulated by the Committee; signifying it to be the desire of a number of citizens, that, added to the declaration he had received of the general sense of the inhabitants against landing of the tea, he should, from a convention of the people, have ocular demonstration of our detestation of the measures of the Ministry and East India Company, to enslave us.

The friends of the country were therefore desired to attend his embarkation, at the appointed time, at Murray' s wharf; which would be notified an hour before hand, by a general peal of the bells. To add to the striking solemnity, it was fortunately preluded by the arrival of Captain Chambers, on Friday; and the destruction of his tea, by some of the impatient inhabitants, at an earlier hour than was destined for that purpose. The next morning, all the church bells of the city, for it is again repeated, sounded the general joy of the inhabitants, on our deliverance from the odious burden. And this may be relied on, as a true and authentic narrative of our opposition to the scheme of subjecting us to a duty on tea, from its first projection, to the fruitless attempt to execute it.

This state of facts, must abundantly prove the general sense of the loyal, free people of this Colony, to be permanently and unalterably fixed against Parliamentary imposts on America. For, to what other principle, can the non-importation agreement be attributed? Are men easily induced to shut up the main avenues to the support of themselves and their families? Must not the call to such a measure be the loudest, and most irresistible? Or can the trade of the capital of a large and populous country be essentially impeded by the virtue of a few? By no means, nothing less than the sense; nothing short of the determined resolution of a great majority could produce an event so important in its nature; an event which must unavoidably have sharpened the edge of a thousand wants.

But who can pretend that public virtue and public spirit were confined to this city, while the Journals of our Assembly so emphatically declare the sense of the whole Province? How small is the representation of this capital when compared to that of the rest of the Colony? And by what kind of reason or example can it be shown, that a prevalent interest in a representative body, can by a trifling minority, be induced to belie their constituents, and make them speak a language contrary to their sentiments? Again, what may we justly infer from the spirited declaration of our rights, on the 3lst of December, 1768, the resolve and vote of thanks of the 10th of April, 1769, in which the merchants of this city, were so highly, and so justly complimented for their disinterested and self-denying patriotism, manifested in the non-importation agreement? Surely nothing less than that the general voice of the people of all ranks, and in all quarters of the Colony, was raised in favour of liberty, and against Parliamentary impositions.

The restriction of our original non-importation agreement, and its present subsistence, under that modification, is the clearest proof of our permanent resolution, that commerce and liberty shall keep pace with each other; and serves as a standing memorial, that we scorn to have more of the former, than is consistent with our due enjoyment of the latter? Had not the spies of Administration here been fully convinced that the pulse of freedom beat high in every vein; that the constitutional resolves of our representatives, on the most interesting points spoke the universal language of their constituents, could their information have produced the fruitless and merely verbal suspension of our internal power of legislation? By no means. This would have been an attempt to punish every individual for the transgressions of a few. It is therefore, to a demonstration evident, that the Genius of Liberty spreads her banner over the whole Colony.

Moreover, when we consider that Parliamentary taxations, are not as to their present value, a matter of moment, either to the mother country, or the Colonies; that the contention between us, is upon the points of principle and precedent; that it is not the quantum, but the manner of exacting those unconstitutional imposts, which is the bone of contention, our public jealousies must necessarily be increased.

When the taxation was more general, there was some colour for the assertion in the Revenue Act, that it was intended for the safety and defence of the Colonies. But it is not only true, that this cannot be asserted of the paltry duty on tea; we know, we were assured by our enemies, that when the other articles charged by the Revenue Act were exempted by the partial repeal, the duty on tea was left as a standing memorial of the right of Parliament to tax Americans.

We have, therefore, no reason to believe that our spirit of liberty, founded on a just constitutional basis, waxes cooler as the design of enslaving us grows more evident. The contrary is most true; it has become more inveterate by habit; and is increased by every fresh evidence, of a fixed resolution to reduce us to bondage. Who then can wonder at the firmness and animation of the people of all ranks; so conspicuous in every line of our association paper? Who can wonder that such vast numbers, after the most cool deliberation, gave it their sanction?

Who cannot well account for that universal suffrage of a public meeting of our inhabitants in its favour, after it had been signed, and their laudable and animated rejection of a temporising expedient of Government, ineffectually calculated to cool our ardour, and lay public jealousy asleep? To what principle can our attention to the unanimity of the Colonies, be ascribed; when at the same public meeting, a Committee was unanimously chosen, to correspond with our brethren on the common interest? Can any one in his senses, imagine, that the American Lion, which has once roared so loudly, as to have been heard with astonishment, across the Atlantic, is now fallen asleep? What has been done by Administration, to quell his rage? On the contrary, are they not daily practising every art to exasperate him? And yet an anonymous scribbler has had the unparalleled effrontery to arraign our late political manoeuvres; to contrast the tailors and coblers with the loyal and sensible inhabitants of the city of New York; to attribute that to a few, which is evidently expressive of the sentiments of the whole body of our citizens.

With this view he begins his truly contemptible production, by asking, What is the Committee of Observation? And by whom were they appointed? Let him receive his answer from the above state of facts. They were a select Committee, nominated for the express purpose of watching the tea ship, and Captain Chambers; nominated by the city Committee, who were appointed at a general meeting of its inhabitants, and a number of the citizens, to prevent the landing of dutied tea. This he must know. How impertinent, then, is his other question concerning the authority by which a man, acting in the character of an enemy to his country, was amened to their tribunal. If the fact was really so, it is evident that he was summoned in virtue of a delegation of a general meeting. But the truth is, that it was the city Committee before whom he was arraigned. The cause of his arraignment was a breach of the non-importation agreement, solemnly entered into by his owners; and to which, by his orders, if he was in heart averse to it, he was, nevertheless, bound to pay implicit obedience. How insolently doss the scribbler inquire, who, and upon what authority, says that the sense of the city was asked about the dismission of Captain Lockyer, or the destruction of the tea? If he can want an answer, let him take it from the association paper; from its re-enaction at a public town meeting; from their rejection of the proposal of Government to put the expected tea in a state of safety on its arrival; from their open declaration that it should not be landed; from the fruitless attempt of a few to procure subscribers to a set of resolves calculated io prevent a forcible opposition to its debarkation, and from the appointment of a Committee to correspond and support a harmony of measures with our sister Colonies. From all these he will be instructed, that the public sense required the sending back of the one, and the destruction of the other. Let us suppose, with this vain contemner of the rights of mankind, that every London Captain brought tea to this port. Will he have the assurance to say, they all imported it like Captain Chambers, regularly cocketted and cleared for entry at our custom-house? Will he say, that they, like him, in defiance of repeated warnings, and under the guise of the most solemn and most shamefully false asseverations, persisted in a wicked design to import tea into this Colony subject to duty? Or is it not a public virtue, while this badge of slavery is held over us, to supply the wants of our inhabitants at the risk of a seizure, and by that means to elude the payment of the odious tax? If any of them, but his friend, who so willingly walks with him in chains, have imported tea, in any other manner, let the latent and dastardly accuser stand forth with his proofs. We shall then join with him in branding them as apostates; we shall despise them as villanous informers; we shall pronounce them as deserving that infamous death which has been justly inflicted on many less dangerous enemies to their country than Captain Chambers. The spirit of this high-flying zealot for despotism is manifest in his assertion, that the unfortunate man was threatened with death for obeying the laws of his country. A most excellent comment upon the Revenue Act! Let him point out a single passage in that statute which requires or commands all, or any of our ship Captains, to import tea subject to duty. Should such a liberal commentator become a good authority, we should soon be paraphrased out of our liberties. Does he desire to be informed who were the persons of reputation that kept the tally at the destruction of the tea? Let him stand forth himself and meet them, and he will soon know whether he or they will be supported by the public sense. If he would be told what they and their honest fellow citizens got by publicly conducting Captain Lockyer through the crowd: I answer, all that was expected; all that was intended, by one of the above mentioned publications, was, that this servant of the Ministry, and of the East India Company, should have ocular demonstration of our detestation of Parliamentary taxes, and bear the unwelcome tale to his employers. He cannot, surely, be so weak as to believe that he was carried through the greatest crowd that ever was collected in this city, merely to procure the compliment of the hat, or a smile or nod of approbation of a private ship Captain; who, though respectfully treated among us, was indebted for his good treatment to the humanity of our citizens, and their regard to due order and decorum. How, then, can it be supposed that any were mortifyingly disgusted at his not pulling off his hat, or that the huzzas of all the people were intended to insult him? But what principles other than such as would induce a man to put the most public contempt on the character of our great deliverer from slavery and arbitrary power, could induce any one to call a regular and orderly, though striking exhibition of our detestation of unconstitutional impositions, an outrage ? Surely, in this fellow' s view the revolution itself was an unparalleled outrage; an outrage, however, productive of the fullest security to our civil and religious liberties, and the establishment of the illustrious house of hanover on the British throne! Did any man in his senses ever doubt whether that happy revolution was brought about by all the people of Britain, because every subject, to a man, did not actually enlist under the banners of the glorious and immortal King William III.? How marvellously does this hero in politics discover his talents, when he attempts to be witty about the ship Nancy' s disaster, and the supposed blunder of the narrator, in distinguishing between Captain Chamber' s tea and the cargo of his ship? The mention of that disaster, the truth of which has been proved by the Captain' s protest before a notary, was evidently the effect of the narrator' s intention to give a strict and circumstantial account of the events relating to the tea ship, which had been so long the object of general expectation; and our writer must be truly a novice in trade, who knows not how to distinguish between the cargo of a ship and the Captain' s private adventure.

But, Mr˙ Rivington, let me assist you to answer the last question of this doughty hero of a Jacobite, and to end the matter with him, by giving him the following evidence, that all the bells in the City rang at the departure of the tea ship. Rudolphus Ritzema, Esq˙, will inform that the bell of the Lutheran Church rang on the occasion; the same thing he may learn concerning the bell of Trinity Church from Messrs˙ Anthony Griffiths and Thomas Tucker; that of St˙ George' s Chapel sounded in the hearing of Messrs, Isaac Sears and Hercules Mulligan; the ringing of the bells of the three Reformed Protestant Dutch Churches can be proved by Mr˙ Garret Rapalje; that of the French Church by Mr˙ Frederick Basset; the bell of the English Presbyterian Church was rung by Mr˙ Brown, their sexton. So and that of the German Calvinist Church by their proper sexton. So that, if the universality of the expression all the bells, can be justified, though those of the City Hall and the College could not join in the enlivening concert, the narrator has spoke the truth, and his impertinent adversary has insinuated an egregious falsehood. He is now called upon to point out which of the churches was broke open on the occasion, and by whom, and what good men hope they will be prosecuted according to law? Let him learn that the respectable public is not to be laughed, jeered, or frightened out of their liberties, by a Jacobitish, ministerial tool, whose most exalted and tremendous character is that of sworn foe to coblers and tailors; whose heart aspires at the glorious satisfaction of seeing us stripped of our cloaths, and stalking in sullen melancholy barefooted, or in rags. But, however despicably he may think of those classes in community, let him recollect with pope, that

" Honour and shame from no condition rise;
Act well your part; there all the honour lies;
Fortune in men has some small diff' rence made;
One flaunts in rags; one flutters in brocade;
The cobler apron' d, and the parson gown' d;
The friar hooded, and the monarch crown' d.
What differ more (you cry) the crown or cowl?
I' ll tell you, friend! a wise man and a fool.
You' ll find, if once the monarch acts the monk;
Or, coble-like, the Doctor will get drunk;
Worth makes the man, and want of it the fellow;
The rest is all but leather or prunella."

But to be serious; there was no alternative left between the destruction of the tea at Boston and New York, and a submission to the odious duty. Had the tea been landed without opposition, the duty must have been paid, or the commodity would have been seized; and when individuals foolishly or rashly, and against the most certain intelligence, will risk their property in the cause of despotism, or for the sake of sordid and flagitious profit, no good member of society will hesitate to pronounce, that private interest falls a just sacrifice to public utility. Thus much to you, Mr˙ Printer. A word or two to the public.

My friends and fellow countrymen, be excited by a frequent review of the above narrative, to a steady pursuit of that liberty, your high relish for which you have in so many luminous instances displayed! Continually provoke each other to fresh proofs of your unalterable love for the public weal. Let neither the imperious designs of an arbitrary Ministry, or the insidious machinations of your pretended friends, awe or cajole you out of your birthright. It is a sacred deposit bestowed by the great Parent of the universe on our ancestors, entrusted by their venerable hands to our care, to be preserved and transmitted by us to posterity pure and uncontaminated. Strain every nerve with an honest and spirited zeal in the common cause. Demonstrate to our dear fellow countrymen in the neighbouring Colonies that we have put our hand to the plough, and that far from looking back, we will co-operate with them in tearing out every plant of slavery by the roots. Show them by your every act, that you feel the solemn obligations into which you have, with them, cheerfully engaged. Convince them by a thousand proofs, if possible, that you will never cease, till, with them, you are in full possession of civil liberty, or with them are buried in one common grave. Beware, in particular, of those among you who are well known to excite sedition, or countenance a suppression of the laudable spirit of liberty alternately; and as it suits their private purposes: who are never to be depended on either by Administration or the people; who ever wear two faces; one to recommend them to ministerial favour, another to beguile the sons of liberty into bondage; who have long practised the art of exciting and assuaging tumults, to distinguish themselves as leaders of the people in the eyes of Government, that they may be courted by a sordid Minister into offices and honours. To whom the cause of the people is no longer their cause than while some private ends are to be answered, unconnected with, and often opposed to the good of the people. I need not mention their names — their persons and their threadbare system of politics are well known to you. But for the happiness of the country, the chain of their influence is broke. Oppose it with all your might; their interest is declining; let it never rise again till they have given you the fullest proofs of a permanent attachment to this country' s weal. Persist, and if they do not alter their measures, incapable as they now must appear to lead this Colony, they must lose all credit with Government, and the swelling tide of public virtue will speedily whelm them into everlasting oblivion.




* See the Journal of the Assembly, that ended by dissolution the 2d January, 1769, page 73.

† See the Journal of the Assembly, for April, 1769, pages 23 and 55.