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These resolutions having been considered, Congress resolved, that they deeply felt for the sufferings of their countrymen in Massachusetts Bay, under the late unjust, cruel, and oppressive acts of the British Parliament; that they thoroughly approve the wisdom and fortitude with which the people have there opposed the wicked acts of the ministry; and they recommend a perseverance in the same firm and temperate conduct.

By another resolution they declare that contributions for the relief of the people of Boston ought to be continued as long as their occasions require them.

These resolutions, together with those from Suffolk, were ordered to be published, and they constituted the first paper issued by Congress. They would not only be very soothing to the people of Massachusetts,' but were likely to give efficiency to the very lively sympathy felt every where for the people of Boston.

As one of the means of redress on which Congress mainly relied was to influence public opinion in Great Britain by acting on the interests of her merchants and manufacturers, their next measure was a resolution requesting the merchants in the colonies to send to Great Britain no further orders for goods, and to suspend the execution of those already sent, until the sense of Congress on the means of redress was made public.


They, some days subsequently, also resolved that after the first day of December there should be no im


John Adams, in his diary, thus refers to this proceeding of Congress, Vol. II. p. 380:

"This was one of the happiest days of my life. In Congress we had generous, noble sentiments, and manly eloquence. This day convinced me that America will support the Massachusetts, or perish with her." September twenty-seventh.




portation of any merchandize that had been exported from Great Britain or Ireland; and that no such merchandize imported after that day should be used or purchased. Both these resolutions passed unanimously.

On the twenty-eighth, while the rights of the colonies were under consideration by the "grand committee” of two members from each colony, an attempt was made to anticipate the decision of Congress on the most important of those rights by Joseph Galloway of Pennsylvania, who was, at the time of his appointment, Speaker of the Assembly in that province; who belonged to the moderate party—a numerous body there- and who refused to accept the office of deputy to Congress, until instructions were framed which aimed as much at conciliation as redress."

He proposed a plan of accommodation and union between Great Britain and her North American colonies, by which a Legislature was to consist of a grand Council to be chosen by the several colonies, according to their wealth and numbers. The executive power was to be discharged by a President-General, who was to be appointed by the Crown, and to have a negative on all acts of the grand Council. The two together were to regulate all the general concerns of the colonies, civil, criminal, or commercial; but each colony was to regulate its own internal concerns.


But there was added a provision which must, appa

By these instructions, said to have been drawn by himself, the deputies were to consult together upon the present unhappy state of the colonies, and to form and adopt a plan for the purposes of obtaining a redress of American grievances, ascertaining American rights upon the most solid and constitutional rinciples, and for establishing that union and harmony between Great Britain and the colonies which is indispensably necessary to the welfare and happiness of both. I. Journals of Congress, p. 6.



[CHAP. II. rently, have made the scheme either impracticable, or nugatory for the security of American rights. A concurrent power was given to the British Parliament to regulate the affairs of the colonies; and each Legislature had a negative on the acts of the other; except that, in war, the grants of money made by the colonial Legislature did not require the assent of Parliament.

This plan was supported by its mover in a plausible speech, in which he maintained, in the broadest terms, that the colonies were not bound by any act of Parliament whatever; and that all the laws made for the colonists were, on the principles of the English Constitution, violations of their rights.

The scheme gave rise to a long and spirited debate; and, obtaining the favor of some by the liberality of the principles on which it was founded, and of others, by its avowed purpose of conciliation, it was referred for further consideration; and was, according to the tradition of the day,' finally rejected by a single vote. It is not improbable, however, that Galloway's main object was to divert Congress from any ulterior measures, and to recommend himself to the British government, since, by his public avowal subsequently, he was opposed to the non-importation agreement, though he had actually signed it; and in less than two years from that time he deserted the cause of his country, and joined the royalists in New York.

This seems to have been a turning point in the

There is no notice on the journals of Congress of Galloway's proposition, it being the practice of the Secretary, sanctioned no doubt by Congress itself, not to record measures proposed and rejected. Yet what a deliberative assembly rejects, and the degree of its unanimity in the rejection, are often important facts in its history. It was thought better to notice this part of its proceedings on the best evidence we possess ; it is mentioned both by Galloway himself, and by John Adams.



deliberations of Congress. From that time they decided on offering, in the first instance, liberal terms of conciliation; and, if they failed, then on resistance, at all hazards; for, in all their subsequent proceedings, as to their course towards Great Britain, they exhibited unanimity, or an approach to it.

Their next measure for appealing to the interests of the mother country was to discontinue their exports as well as their imports. In this, however, there was more difficulty. In the instructions given by Virginia to her deputies, they were restrained from agreeing to a nonexportation to Great Britain, to take place earlier than August tenth, 1775. It must be recollected that tobacco, the chief article of export from Virginia, was one of those "enumerated" articles which could be sent no where but to Great Britain; and that it would be comparatively valueless if kept at home. The same consideration applied in a great measure to rice, which was also an "enumerated" article, and exportable only to the mother country.

To the proposed delay most of the other colonies were opposed, because they regarded a suspension of exports as yet more important than a suspension of imports. But both Maryland and North Carolina, which also exported tobacco, urged that they must pursue the same policy as Virginia, since, if they stopped exports, while Virginia permitted them, she would monopolize their trade as well as frustrate the general policy. The wishes of those three States ultimately prevailed. After a debate of two days, it was finally determined' that all exportation to Great Britain, Ireland, and the West September thirtieth.


VOL. I. — 8



[CHAP. II. Indies should cease after September tenth, 1775,' unless the grievances of America were previously redressed.

Having appointed a committee to prepare "a loyal address to the king," they unanimously instructed that committee, by way of removing the pretence that Parliamentary taxes were necessary for defraying the expenses of their government, to assure His Majesty that the colonies had made, or would make ample provision for defraying all the necessary expenses of supporting government, and the due administration of justice in the respective colonies; that the militia would suffice for their defence in peace; and, in case of war, the colonies would be ready to grant such supplies as might be


They further instructed the committee to assure His Majesty that, if the colonies were restored to their condition at the close of the late war, by abolishing the laws for raising a revenue in America — for extending the powers of courts of admiralty—for the trial of persons beyond sea for crimes committed in America-for affecting the colony of Massachusetts Bay, and for altering the government and extending the limits of Canada, the jealousies occasioned by those acts would be removed, and commerce be again restored.

A communication having been received from the committee of correspondence of Massachusetts, informing Congress that Governor Gage continued to fortify Boston and its environs, as well as to give other indications of his determination to reduce them to submission, and requesting their advice whether, under the circumstances,

1 1It appears from the above resolution that the deputies from Virginia did not venture to deviate from their instructions, as has been sometimes stated.

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