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which a gracious God hath bestowed on us. If they are wise, they will be great and happy. If they are of a contrary character, they will be miserable.—Righteousness alone can exalt them as a nation.
“Reader! whoever thou art, remember this; and in thy sphere, practise virtue thyself, and encourage it in others.-P. HENRY."
Jacob Wirt, Life & Character of Patrick Henry (Phila., 1818), 56-58 passim.
18. Rights of Americans (1765) By THE MASSACHUSETTS HOUSE OF REPRE
(Drafted by Samuel Adams)
This is one of the many protests by popular assemblies throughout the Revolution.
WHEREAS the just rights of his Majesty's subjects of this Province, derived to them from the British Constitution, as well as the royal charter, have been lately drawn into question: in order to ascertain the same, this House do unanimously come into the following resolves
I. Resolved, That there are certain essential rights of the British Constitution of government, which are founded in the law of God and nature, and are the common rights of mankind;-therefore,
2. Resolved, That the inhabitants of this Province are unalienably entitled to those essential rights in common with all men: and that no law of society can, consistent with the law of God and nature, divest them of those rights.
3. Resolved, That no man can justly take the property of another without his consent; and that upon this original principle, the right of representation in the same body which exercises the power of making laws for levying taxes, which is one of the main pillars of the British Constitution, is evidently founded.
4. Resolved, That this inherent right, together with all other essential rights, liberties, privileges, and immunities of the people of Great Britain, have been fully confirmed to them by Magna Charta, and by former and by later acts of Parliament.
5. Resolved, That his Majesty's subjects in America are, in reason and common sense, entitled to the same extent of liberty with his Majesty's subjects in Britain.
6. Resolved, That by the declaration of the royal charter of this Province, the inhabitants are entitled to all the rights, liberties, and immunities of free and natural subjects of Great Britain to all intents, purposes, and constructions whatever. 7. Resolved, That the inhabitants of this Proyince appear to be entitled to all the rights aforementioned by an act of Parliament, 13th of Geo. II.
8. Resolved, That those rights do belong to the inhabitants of this Province upon the principle of common justice; their ancestors having settled this country at their sole expense, and their posterity having approved themselves most loyal and faithful subjects of Great Britain.
9. Resolved, That every individual in the Colonies is as advantageous to Great Britain as if he were in Great Britain and held to pay his full proportion of taxes there; and as the inhabitants of this Province pay their full proportion of taxes for the support of his Majesty's government here, it is unreasonable for them to be called upon to pay any part of the charges of the government there.
10. Resolved, That the inhabitants of this Province are not, and never have been, represented in the Parliament of Great Britain; and that such a representation there as the subjects in Britain do actually and rightfully enjoy is impracticable for the subjects in America ;-and further, that in the opinion of this House, the several subordinate powers of legislation in America were constituted upon the apprehensions of this impracticability.
11. Resolved, That the only method whereby the constitutional rights of the subjects of this Province can be secure, consistent with a sub
ordination to the supreme power of Great Britain, is by the continued exercise of such powers of government as are, granted in the royal charter, and a firm adherence to the privileges of the same.
12. Resolved,—as a just conclusion from some of the foregoing resolves, -That all acts made by any power whatever, other than the General Assembly of this Province, imposing taxes on the inhabitants, are infringements of our inherent and unalienable rights as men and British subjects, and rendered void the most valuable declarations of our charter.
Samuel Adams, Writings (N. Y., 1904), I. 23-26.
19. An English Friend of American
A writer, military officer and warm friend of the colonies. Wilkes-Barre, Pa., is
part named from him.
On this colonel Barré rose, and, after explaining some passages in his speech, took up Mr. Townshend's concluding words in a most spirited and inimitable manner, saying, “They planted by YOUR care !—no—your oppressions planted them in America. They fled from your tyranny, to a uncultivated and inhospitable country, whence they exposed themselves to almost all the hardships to which human nature is liable; and, among others, to the cruelties of a savage foe, the most subtle, and I will take upon me to say, the most formidable of any people upon the face of God's earth; and yet, actuated by principles of true English liberty, they met all hardships with pleasure, compared with those they suffered in their own country, from the hands of those that should have been their friends. They nourished up by your indulgence !—they grew by your neglect of them. As soon as you began to care about them, that care was. exercised in sending persons to rule them, in one department and another, who were, perhaps, the deputies of deputies to some members of this house, sent to spy out their liberties, to misrepresent their actions, and to prey upon them-men, whose behaviour on many occasions, has caused the blood of those sons of liberty to recoil within them—men promoted to the highest seats of justice—some who to my knowledge were glad, by going to a foreign country, to escape being brought to the bar of a court of justice, in their own. They protected by YOUR arms!-they have nobly taken up arms in your defence; have exerted a valour, amidst their constant and laborious industry, for the defence of a country, whose frontier' was drenched in blood, while its interiour parts, yielded all its little savings to your emolument. And believe me, re