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stamps, was at once suspended, except that of publishing newspapers, which the printers still continued; pleading, in excuse, that if they did not, the populace would serve them as they had done the stampmasters themselves. But the consequence of this stagnation was soon felt so severely, that the inhabitants began to think how they could effectually elude it. To this end some wag, fruitful in expedients, sent to the printers at Boston a thin piece of bark, on which he had written, that it being neither paper, parchment, nor vellum, he would be glad to know if instruments, written on such stuff, might not be valid, though not stamped; in which case, he was ready to supply with good writing-bark all those whose consciences were bound by the late Act. At last, the Governors of some of the provinces, though bound by the laws to swear to see it observed, under the severest penalties, finding the total stoppage of all public business so injurious to the community, thought proper to dispense with the use of stamps, grounding their justification on the absolute impossibility of procuring any; and accordingly granted certificates of that impossibility to all outward bound vessels to protect them from the penalties of the Act in other parts of his Majesty's dominions. To testify their indignation still further, combinations against the trade of England became everywhere general. The merchants entered into the most solemn engagements with each other, not only not to import any goods from Great Britain, let the consequences be what they would, and to recall the orders they had already given, if not obeyed by the 1st January, 1766, but even not to dispose of any British goods sent them on commission that were shipped before that day; or if they consented to any relaxation from these engagements, it was not to take place till the Stamp Act, and even the sugar and paper-money Acts, were repealed. The people of Philadelphia likewise resolved, though not unanimously, that till such repeal, no lawyer should put in suit a demand for money owing to a resident in America from one in England; nor any person in America, however indebted in England, to make any remittances there. These resolutions were adopted by the retailers, who unanimously agreed not to buy or sell any British goods shipped to them. At the same time, lest their own new woollen manufactories should fall short for want of materials, most of the inhabitants came to the resolution not to eat any mutton; and to extend the influence of their resolution to those who did not join them in it, nor to deal with any butcher that should kill or expose any sheep for sale. The most substantial, and even fashionable people were foremost in setting the example to their countrymen, by contenting themselves with home-spun or old clothes, rather than make use of anything British, of which they were formerly so conspicuously fond. Such were the efforts of all ranks, and so prudent their measures, that many now began to be convinced of what they had till then thought impossible, that the colonies would soon be able to supply themselves with every necessary of life. When the value of imposts from Great Britain, nearly three millions annually is taken into consideration, it must be admitted that the mode of retaliation was one likely to be severely felt, and deeply lamented by a trading people, like the English. In the midst of this general excitement, at the day appointed by Massachusetts, committees from nine colonies met at New York, and the Congress was organized by the appointment of a President. One of the first rules adopted was, to give each colony represented one vote. In the course of a three weeks' session, a “Declaration of the Rights and Grievances of the Colonies” was agreeed to. All the privileges of Englishmen were claimed by it as the birth-right of the colonists; amongst the rest, the right of being taxed only by their own consent. Since distance and local circumstances made a representation in the British Parliament impossible, their delegates, it was maintained, could be no other than the several colonial legislatures. A petition to the King, and memorials to each House of Parliament, were also prepared, in which the cause of the Provincials was eloquently pleaded. To these proceedings, the several colonial assemblies, at their earliest session, gave their cordial approval. A change in the English Ministry, which took place in July, and the news of which reached America in September, encouraged the colonists in the stand they had taken. This change originated in domestic reasons, wholly unconnected with the American polity; it was regarded, however, as favourable to the general cause of freedom. The old Whig aristocracy which had governed the kingdom since the accession of the House of Hanover, had split up of late, into several bitter and hostile factions, chiefly founded on mere personal considerations. Pitt's repeated attacks on former ministries, and at last, his forcing himself into power, had contributed not a little to this result. The accession of George III. had given rise to a new party, by which Pitt himself had been superseded. In the address from the throne, at the opening of the session, the new Ministers brought the state of colonial affairs before Parliament. They produced the correspondence of the provincial Governors, and other papers relating to the late disturbances. Numerous petitions from British merchants for the repeal of the Stamp Act were also presented to the two Houses. Pitt now appeared in his place in the House of Commons, and delivered his opinion, “that the kingdom had no right to lay a tax on the

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