Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

may advance the revenue of the crown, and be an encouragement to their Majesties subjects here. In mean time we shall pray for the long and happie reign of their Majesties, and God's blessing to be on his people in all their three kingdoms.

Thomas Hutchinson, A Collection of Original Papers Relative to the History of the Colony of Massachusets. Bay (Boston, 1769), 567-571.

7

CHAPTER III PRINCIPLES OF PER

SONAL LIBERTY (1689-1748)

In the half century after 1689, the main patriotic impulse was as before, in the direction of a widening of the rights of the individual. At the same time, the colonists sought the protection of the little colonial governments from the attentions of the home government. The principle of liberty was extended by several writers to an attack on slavery, which was a denial that liberty was the general right of mankind. In the famous Zenger case of 1737 a notable victory was won for the right of free speech. The patriots of the time began to work out a statement of the government of the British Empire which would prevent an interference which was dreaded rather than felt. At the same time, active-minded men like Byrd and Oglethorpe began to see the commercial significance of America, and to prepare the way for trade and manufactures. The clearest disturbance of the public weal, and the broadest occasion for statements and acts of patriotism, was the impending struggle between the French and the English for the prize of the West. In this controversy, Benjamin Franklin began to appear as the typical American who was determined to direct the minds of his countrymen toward their patriotic duty of building up a permanent community. The clergy, always active in public affairs, developed a type of national patriotism based upon religious duty. As early as 1748, shrewd observers saw the eventual separation of the colonies from Great Britain.

[graphic]

"Penn IN ARMOR." Original in the Pennsylvania

Historical Society, Philadelphia.

1. Defying a Colonial Governor

(1693)
By REVEREND ABIEL HOLMES

(Written 1805)

Minister in Cambridge, Mass. Father of Oliver Wendell Holmes, and a noted historiographer.

GOVERNER FLETCHER of New York was vested with plenary powers of commanding the whole militia of Connecticut; and insisted on the exercise of that command. The legislature of Connecticut, knowing that authority to be expressly given to the colony by charter, would not submit to his requisition; but the colony, desirous of maintaining a good understanding with governor Fletcher, sent William Pitkin, esquire, to New York, to make terms with him respecting the militia, until his majesty's pleasure should be further known. No terms however could be made with the governor, short of an explicit submission of the militia to his command. On the twenty sixth of October, he came to Hartford, while the assembly was sitting, and, in his majesty's name, demanded that submission. The assembly resolutely persisted in a refusal. After the requisition had been repeatedly made, with plausible explanations, and serious menaces, Fletcher ordered his commission and instructions to be read in audience of the trainbands of Hartford, which had been prudentially assembled, upon his order. Captain Wadsworth, the senior officer, who was at that moment exercising the soldiers, instantly called out, “Beat the drums,” which, in a moment, overwhelmed every voice. Fletcher commanded silence. No sooner was a second attempt made to read, than Wadsworth vociferated, “Drum, drum, I say.” The drummers instantly beat up again with the greatest possible spirit. "Silence, silence," exclaimed the governor. At the first moment of a pause, Wadsworth called out earnestly, “Drum, drum, I say;" and, turning to his excellency, said, "If I am interrupted again, I will make the sun shine through you in a moment." This decision produced its proper effect; and the governor and his suite soon returned to New York.

Abiel Holmes, American Annals (Cambridge, 1905), II. 20-21.

2. Plan for the Peace of Europe

(1694)
By GOVERNOR WILLIAM PENN

One of the earlier suggestions that peace could be maintained by a congress of nations.

If the Soveraign Princes of Europe, who represent that Society, or Independent State of Men that was previous to the Obligations of Society, would, for the same Reason that engaged Men first into Society, viz: Love of Peace and Order, agree to meet by their Stated Deputies in a General Dyet, Estates, or Parliament, and there Establish Rules of Justice for Soveraign Princes to observe one to another; and thus to meet Yearly, or once in Two or Three Years at farthest, or as they shall see Cause, and to be Stiled, The Soveraign or Imperial Dyet, Parliament, or State of Europe; before which Soveraign Assembly, should be brought all Differences depending between one Soveraign and another, that cannot be made up by private Embassies, before the Sessions begin; and that if any of the Soveraignties that Constitute these Imperial States, shall refuse to submit their Claim or Pretensions to them, or to abide and perform the Judgment thereof, and seek their Remedy by Arms, or delay their Compliance beyond the Time prefixt in

« AnteriorContinuar »