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and to extend along the coast towards the Penobscot. Emigrants from New England, partially filled up the places vacated by the exiled Acadiens. The Upper Connecticut, also began to be settled, and many families pushed forward across the Green Mountains, towards Lake Champlain. Emigrants from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, continued to pour over the mountains, despite a royal proclamation tending to restrain them, and occupied largely the lands on the Monongahela, claimed by the Six Nations as their property. In South Carolina, liberal inducements were held out to encourage free white laborers, from Ireland and Germany, principally, to settle in the upper districts of that province. Georgia, too, was rapidly increasing in population, Governor Wright having proved the agricultural value of the swamps and low lands, along the rivers and coast; and in 1763, the Georgia Gazette, the first newspaper in that colony, was commenced. East and West Florida, likewise began to increase in population, and the resources of that region began to be developped during the ten years following, more than had been done during the whole time of the Spanish occupation. Some emigrants from Canada settled in Louisiana, which was still under the French administration, although by the terms of the treaty of Fontainebleau, the island and city of New Orleans, and all of Louisiana west of the Mississippi, had been ceded to Spain. We may mention here, that the Spanish domination was by no means acceptable to the Louisianians. They did everything in
their power to manifest their unwillingness and disgust, even proceeding to a show of force; but it was of no avail; the transfer to the Spanish rule took place in 1769.” In the older settlements, there was, likewise, evident signs of advancement in wealth and population. Mr. Hildreth terms this, “the golden age” of Virginia, Maryland, and South Carolina, whose population and productions were increasing at a rate never before or since equalled. “Norfolk and Baltimore began to assume the character of commercial towns; Philadelphia and New York, sole ports to a vast back country, were growing fast ; Boston had been stationary for twenty-five years, and continued so for twenty-five years to come, chiefly owing to the fact, that the trade and navigation, for a long time almost engrossed by Boston, was now shared by other towns fast springing up along the sea coast of New England. The harshness and bigotry of former times were greatly relaxed. A taste for literature, science, and social refinement began to be developped. The six colonial colleges received an accession of students. By the efforts of Drs. Shippen and Morgan, both natives of Pennsylvania, a medical school was added to the Pennsylvania College, the first institution of the kind in America. Even
* We must beg leave here, to refer again to Mr. Gayarré’s “ History of Louisiana,” vols. ii. and iii. The patriotic spirit of the writer, gives a charm to his work, which commends it at once to the regard of the reader,
f It is but proper, in this connection, to state, in the language of Dr. Francis, that, “New York is the city in which the first organization of a complete medical faculty was created during our colonial relationship with Great Britain.” King's College, in 1767–8, was the first institution in America, which conferred the degree of Doctor of Medicine. See Dr. Francis's interesting Address, at the Anniversary of the “Woman's Hospital,” February, 1856. * At this date, “North Carolina contained about 95,000 white inhabitants; Virginia, about 70,000 whites, and 100,000 negroes ; Maryland, nearly 70,000 whites; Pennsylvania, (supposed) 280,000 souls ; New Jersey, more than 60,000; Connecticut contained, 141,000 whites, about 4,500 blacks, and 930 Indians; Massachusetts, about 240,000 inhabitants. Canada contained about 100,000 souls.”— Holmes’s “Annals,” vol. ii., p. 117.
the fine arts were not without native votaries. West and Copley, fathers of American art, both born the same year, had commenced as portrait painters, the one in New York, the other in Boston; but they soon sought in London, a wider field and more extended patronage.” Mr. Hildreth also notes, that the law had assumed the rank of a distinct profession at this date. Henry, Otis, Dickinson, and others, among lawyers, were already enrolling themselves among the most vigorous opponents of those who invaded the rights and liberties of the colonists; and their influence was felt sensibly
in the colonial Assemblies.”
We have enlarged upon these matters not only on account of their interest in a historical point of view, but also because of their importance at the present crisis in American affairs. The recuperative energies of the colonies were remarkably displayed; and their ability to assert forcibly their rights, and to maintain them manfully, became more and more evident to themselves, if not to those in power in England. The feeling of self reliance was engen
dered on all hands; and it seemed to be almost demonstrable, that the Americans were competent for any emergency which might arise in the progress of their social, political, or even military affairs. “In the bosoms of this people,” as John Quincy Adams eloquently says, “there was burning, kindled at different furnaces, but all furnaces of affliction, one clear, steady flame of LIBERTY. Bold and daring enterprise, stubborn endurance of privation, unflinching intrepidity in facing danger, and inflexible adherence to conscientious principle, had steeled to energetic and unyielding hardihood the characters of the primitive settlers of all these colonies. Since that time two or three generations of men had passed away—but they had increased and multiplied with unexampled rapidity; and the land itself had been the recent theatre of a ferocious and bloody seven years' war, between the two most powerful and most civilized nations of Europe, contending for the possession of this continent. Of that strife the victorious combatant had been Britain. She had conquered the provinces of France. She had expelled her rival totally from the continent over which, bounding herself by the Mississippi, she was thenceforth to hold divided empire only with Spain. She had acquired undisputed control over the Indian tribes, still tenanting the forests unexplored by the European man. She had established an uncontested monopoly of the commerce of all her colonies. But, forgetting all the warnings of preceding ages, forgetting the lessons written in the blood of her own
children, through centuries of departed time, she undertook to tax the people of the colonies without their consent.” This led to inevitable collision; this hastened on the struggle for chartered rights and liberties; this, persisted in as it was, and attempted to be estab
lished by force, roused the colonists to
risk their all in contending for what was dearer to them than even life itself. A brief review of the causes which led to the contest with the mother country, will demonstrate the truth of what has just been stated. England, under the ministry of Pitt, had attained a prečminence in military renown, unequalled in her history; she had subdued her enemies, had come off victorious in every contest, and was now the acknowledged mistress of the seas, and superior over all her competitors. Gratifying as was this success, however, it had not been attained without vast expenditure of means; and now, victorious as she was, she found herself saddled with a debt almost fearful to contemplate, and compelled to lay burdens upon the people, well nigh beyond all possibility of endurance.” It was but natural, that, following out the suggestion of Pitt in reference to this matter, so soon as the war was concluded, some steps should be taken to obtain revenue from the colonies. It was but natural, likewise, that the colonists should view with suspicion, any scheme calculated to trench upon what they held to be their inalienable right, not to grant
money except by or through their own representatives. The seven years' war had not been carried on without great effort and sacrifices on the part of the colonists. Thirty thousand of their soldiers had fallen in the struggle, either in battle or by disease. Sixteen millions of dollars had been expended, of which, only about five millions had been reimbursed by Parliament. Massachusetts had burdened herself with an oppressive debt, as also had Connecticut, New York, and Virginia. And the colonists could not but feel that their importance was vastly increased by the results of that war, which they had materially aided in bringing to its successful conclusion. They were now, no longer weak and inexperienced children: they had grown up to a vigorous youth and manhood; and they were prepared to manifest the fact whenever it might be necessary. It became a settled determination with them, to assert their claims as sons, as children in the family, and as entitled to all the privileges and rights of sons; and this was only what was to be expected from sons who boasted of the origin which they enjoyed. “It is the honorable distinction of England,” says M. Guizot,” “to have given to her colonies, in their infancy, the seminal principle of their liberty. Almost all of them, either at the time of their being planted or shortly after received charters which conferred upon the colonists the rights of the mother
country. And these charters were not
* The national debt at this date, amounted to .6140,000,000, i. e., nearly $700,000,000.
* “JEssay on the Character and Influence of WashČngton,” from the French, pp. 14–24.
a mere deceptive form, a dead letter, for they either established or recognized those powerful institutions, which impelled the colonists to defend their liberties and to control power by dividing it; such as the laying of taxes by vote, the election of the principal public bodies, trial by jury, and the right to meet and deliberate upon af. fairs of general interest. Thus the history of these colonies is nothing else than the practical and sedulous development of the spirit of liberty, expanding under the protecting influence of the laws and traditions of the country. Such, indeed, was the history of England itself. In the infancy of the English colonies, three different powers are found, side by side, with their liberties, and consecrated by the same charters, the crown, the proprietary founders, whether companies or individuals, and the mother country. The crown, by virtue of the monarchical principle, and with its traditions, derived from the Church and the Empire. The proprietary founders, to whom the territory had been granted, by virtue of the feudal principle which attaches a considerable portion of sovereignty to the proprietorship of the soil. The mother country, by virtue of the colonial principle, which, at all periods and among all nations, by a natural connection between facts and opinions, has given to the mother country a great influence over the population proceeding from its bosom. “From the very commencement, as well in the course of events as in the charters, there was great confusion among these various powers, by turns
exalted or depressed, united or divided, Sometimes protecting, one against another, the colonists and their franchises, and sometimes assailing them in concert. In the course of these confused changes, all sorts of pretexts were assumed, and facts of all kinds cited, in justification and support either of their acts or their pretensions. “In the middle of the seventeenth century, when the monarchical principle was overthrown in England, in the person of Charles the First, one might be led to suppose, for a moment, that the colonies would take advantage of this to free themselves entirely from its control. In point of fact, some of them, Massachusetts especially, settled by stern Puritans, showed themselves disposed, if not to break every tie which bound them to the mother country, at least to govern themselves, alone, and by their own laws. But the Long Parliament, by force of the colonial principle, and in virtue of the rights of the crown which it inherited, maintained, with moderation, the supremacy of Great Britain. Cromwell, succeeding to the power of the Long Parliament, exercised it in a more striking manner, and, by a judicious and resolute principle of protection, prevented or repressed, in the colonies, both Royalist and Puritan, every faint aspiration for independence. This was to him an easy task. The colonies, at this period, were feeble and divided. Virginia, in 1640, did not contain more than three or four thousand inhabitants, and in 1660 hardly thirty thousand. Maryland had at most only twelve thousand. In these two provinces, the royalist party had
the ascendency, and greeted with joy the Restoration. In Massachusetts, On the other hand, the general feeling was republican; and when the local government were compelled to proclaim Charles the Second as king, they forbade, at the same time, all tumultuous assemblies, all kinds of merry-making, and even the drinking of the king's health. There was, at that time, neither the moral unity, nor the physical strength, necessary to the foundation of a state. “After 1688, when England was finally in possession of a free government, the colonies felt but slightly its advantages. The charters, which Charles the Second and James the Second had either taken away or impaired, were but imperfectly and partially restored to them. The same confusion prevailed, the same struggles arose between the different powers. The greater part of the governors, coming from Europe, temporarily invested with the prerogatives and pretensions of royalty, displayed them with more arrogance than power, in an
administration, generally speaking, in
consistent, irritating, seldom successful, frequently marked by grasping selfishness, and a postponement of the interests of the public to petty personal quarrels. Moreover, it was henceforth not the crown alone, but the crown and the mother country united, with which the colonies had to deal. Their real sovereign was no longer the king, but the king and the people of Great Britain, represented and mingled together in Parliament. And the Parliament regarded the colonies with nearly the
same eyes, and held, in respect to them, nearly the same language, as had lately been used towards the Parliament itself, by those kings whom it afterwards overcame. An aristocratic senate is the most intractable of masters. Every member of it possesses the supreme power, and no one is responsible for its exercise. “In the mean time, the colonies were rapidly increasing in population, in wealth, in strength internally, and in importance externally. Instead of a few obscure establishments, solely occupied with their own affairs, and hardly able to sustain their own existence, a people was now forming itself, whose agriculture, commerce, enterprising spirit, and relative position to other states, were giving them a place and consideration among men. The mother country, unable to govern them well, had neither the leisure nor the ill will to oppress them absolutely. She vexed and annoyed them without checking their growth.” As a part of the policy of the English ministry, it was proposed to maintain in America ten thousand regular troops, as a peace establishment, for the defence of the colonies. Probably also, there was had in view the importance of such a force as this, to help to sustain the authority of the crown in the colonies. So soon as peace was established, the successors of Mr. Pitt in the ministry, in accordance with the proposal of the Board of Trade some years before, determined to try the scheme of taxation by the supreme ordinance of Parliament. That Parliament had authority over the colonies, was admitted on all hands,