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The Crisis. No. VI



To the Right Honourable Lord NORTH, first Lord of the Treasury, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Ranger of Bushy Park, &c.

MY LORD: We know not which is most to be detested, your Lordship' s pusillanimity, or your villany. Such a miscreant never before disgraced the administration of any Country, nor the confidence of any King. One day you are all fire and sword; Boston is to be laid in ashes, and the rivers of America are to run with the blood of her inhabitant; Ships are prepared, Troops embarked, and Officers appointed for the threatened carnage. You no sooner find the brave Americans are determined to resist your instruments of slaughter, and to oppose the cruel designs of a despotick tyrant, or rob them of their rights, than all the bravadoing and all the blustering of your Lordship is immediately softened into a calm, and you relax; fear seizes your dastardly soul, and you sink beneath the weight of accumulated guilt.

One day we hear of nothing but accusations, proscriptions, impeachments, and bills of attainder against the Patriots of America, and they are speedily to be apprehended, and to receive a punishment due to their crimes — due to rebels. Three days do not elapse, before this just and noble resolution of your Lordship to bring those traitors to a trial is dropped, and lenient, or no steps are to be taken against them. Another day all the Colonies are in a state of rebellion, and the last advices received from America, you tell the House of Commons, were of a very alarming nature, and such a daring spirit of resistance had manifested itself throughout the Continent, that it was now high time Parliament should adopt measures for enforcing obedience to the late Acts. A plan is no sooner proposed by you, but carried by a rotten majority, for reducing them to a state of subjection to your, and your Royal master' s will, and bloodshed and slaughter stare them in the face. They laugh at your impotent malice, and, with a spirited firmness becoming of freemen, dare you to the stroke; when, behold, your threats, and the resolution of your venal troop, (I will not call it a British Senate,) become like the threats and resolutions of a society of coal porters, who declare vengeance against another body of men who will not comply with their unlawful impositions, but fear the next day, without even the shadow of justice on their side, to carry their desperate designs into execution. The motion you made, my Lord, in the House of Commons, on Monday last, for a suspension of the several American Acts till it is known which of the Provinces will raise a Revenue, and contribute to the luxuries of the Parent State, subject to the control of the British Parliament, is a subterfuge too low, and too thinly disguised, to deceive the Americans, or to impose upon the understanding of the meanest capacity. It is evident to the world this is only a villanous plan to divide them, who, while united together, may bid defiance to all your Lordship' s cunning, fraud, force, and villany. The Americans, my Lord, are too sensible, and too brave, to be drawn into any trap, either of your, or your Royal master' s making. You may weave the web as artfully as you please for their destruction, and they will be sure to break it. Their cause is just; it is the cause of Heaven, and built upon the solid foundation of truth and liberty. They will carefully watch over the sacred gifts of God, and never surrender them to you nor any power upon earth, but with their lives. You have found, my Lord, that your hostile invasion, and all your force and violence, would not terrify them into a compliance with your measures, nor answer the infamous design of making the King absolute


in America; and now you are determined to try whether, by fraud and artifice, you can effect your purpose.

You have, my Lord, by the most cruel oppressions, drove the Americans to a state of desperation. You have destroyed their Charters, invaded their Rights, and imposed Taxes contrary to every principle of justice and to every idea of representation; and by blockading the Port of Boston, reduced near thirty thousand people, in easy circumstances, to a state of dependance upon the charity and benevolence of their fellow-subjects; and now, rare condescension, suspension of the several American Acts, or, in other words, Ministerial oppression and villany, is to be granted them, provided they will raise a Revenue in America, still subject to the control of the King and Parliament in England. This suspension scheme, my Lord, will not do. The Americans will have a repeal of all the Acts they complain of, and a full restoration of all their Charters, Rights, Liberties, and Privileges, before they grant you a single farthing, and then not subject to the control of a banditti of rotten Members in St˙ Stephen' s Chapel, of your appointing. For where would be the difference between their taxing themselves, subject to the control and at the disposal of the King and Parliament here, or of the House of Commons in England taxing them in the first instance? There would be none, my Lord, and they would still be in the same situation they are now — still subject to the will of the King, and the corrupt influence of the Crown. This scheme, my Lord, appears to me as ridiculous and absurd as the negative still vested in the Court of Aldermen, of the City of London, which gives a power to a majority of twenty-six to set aside the choice of seven thousand livery-men, in the election of their Mayor. Be assured, my Lord, this new plan must fall to the ground, with all your former ones in this business. The day of trial is at hand; the Americans will be firm. They will have a confirmation of all their rights; they will have a redress of all their grievances; they will levy their own Taxes, not subject to any controlling power; and they will fix the Constitutional Liberties of America upon a foundation not to be again shaken by you, nor any pusillanimous, weak, wicked, or cruel tyrant.

It is unnatural. — But for a moment, my Lord, suppose the Americans should come into your proposals, or agree with the terms of your motion, how, my Lord, can you make reparation for the injuries England and America have sustained; or will it, in any degree, lessen your villany, or atone for your crimes? What compensation can you make for the loss of our Trade, to the amount of near three millions? What compensation can you make for robbing the Nation of near one million and a half of money, to carry on your execrable designs against your fellow-subjects in America You can make none. Your head, indeed, would be a pleasing spectacle upon Temple Bar; but the loss of that, and your estates, would never atone for a ten thousandth part of your crimes and villany. Still it is to be hoped the minority of the House of Commons, and the people, will never leave you till they have both — till you are made a publick example, and brought to condign punishment.

Every measure, my Lord, of your administration at home has been cruel, arbitrary, and unconstitutional; and every measure, with respect to Foreign Affairs, has been weak, cowardly, absurd, and ridiculous; unbecoming an English Minister, and only calculated to destroy the honour and interest of this Kingdom.

The glory and dignity of the British Nation was never so infamously sacrificed, both by you and the King, as in the year 1770, by a scandalous secret Convention with Spain, concerning Falkland Islands.

With respect to Domestick Affairs, you have endeavoured to erect the Sovereign into a despotick tyrant; you have made him destroy the Rights and Liberties of the people in every part of the British Empire. You have made it apparently his interest to promote divisions at home; you have obliged him to quit the glorious title of Father of his People, and debase himself into the head of a party, whom he has invested with an absolute dominion over him; and whilst he monarchs it in his own closet, becomes contemptible in the eyes of his subjects, and the whole world. Weak, timid, and irresolute, lie deeply


gages in all your Lordship' s infamous measures, and the rest of his Ministers; and it is for this reason we see every act of Ministerial villany and murder sanctified by Royal authority.



* February 20, 1775.