Documents on the Townshend Acts and Period 1767-1768

Revenue Act of 1767 June 26, 1767

Whereas it is expedient that a revenue should be raised,in your Majesty's dominions in America, for making a more certain and adequate provision for defraying the charge of the administration of justice, and the support of civil government in such provinces where it shall be found necessary, and towards further defraying the expenses of defending, protecting, and securing the said dominions; we, your majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the commons of Great Britain in Parliament assembled, have therefore resolved to give and grant unto your Majesty the several rates and duties hereinafter mentioned; and do most humbly beseech your Majesty that it may be enacted and be it enacted . . . that from and after the twentieth day of November one thousand seven hundred and sixty-seven, there shall be raised, levied, collected and paid, unto his Majesty, his heirs and successors, for and upon the respective goods hereinafter mentioned, which shall be imported from Great Britain into any colony or plantation in America which now is, or hereafter may be, under the dominion of his Majesty, his heirs or successors, the several rates and duties following [on glass, red and white lead, painters' colours, three pence a pound on tea, and on many varieties of paper].

IV. And it is hereby further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the said rates and duties, charged by this Act upon goods imported into any British American colony or plantation, shall be deemed, and are hereby declared to be, sterling money of Great Britain; and shall be collected, recovered, and paid, to the amount of the value which such nominal sums bear in Great Britain; and that such monies may be received and taken, according to the proportion and value of five shillings and sixpence the ounce in silver. . . .

V. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that his Majesty and his successors shall be, and are hereby, empowered, from time to time, by any warrant or warrants under his or their royal sign manual or sign manuals, countersigned by the high treasurer, or any three or more of the commissioners of the treasury for the time being to cause such monies to be applied out of the produce of the duties granted by this Act, as his Majesty or his successors shall think proper or necessary, for defraying the charges of the administration of justice, and the support of the civil government within all or any of the said colonies or plantations. . . .

X. [Because earlier Acts to prevent frauds in trade authorized writs of assistance but did not expressly provide for any particular court to grant them to the officers of the customs in the colonies] it is doubted whether such officers can legally enter houses and other places on land, to search for and seize goods, in the manner directed by the said recited Acts: To obviate which doubts for the future, and in order to carry the intention of the said recited Acts into effectual execution, be it enacted, . . . that from and after the said twentieth day of November, one thousand seven hundred and sixty-seven, such writs of assistance, to authorize and empower the officers of his Majesty's customs to enter and go into any house, warehouse, shop, cellar, or other place, in the British colonies or plantations in America, to search for and seize prohibited or uncustomed goods, in the manner directed by the said recited Acts, shall and may be granted by the said superior or supreme court of justice having jurisdiction within such colony or plantation respectively.

New York Suspending Act of 1767 July 2, 1767

WHEREAS an act of parliament was made in the fifth year of his present Majesty's reign, intituled, An act to amend and render more effectual, in his Majesty's dominions in America, an act passed in this present session of parliament, intituled, An act for punishing mutiny and desertion, and for the better payment of the army and their quarters; wherein several directions were given, and rules and regulations established and appointed, for the supplying his Majesty's troops, in the British dominions in America, with such necessaries as are in the said act mentioned during the continuance thereof . . . and whereas the house of representatives of his Majesty's province of New York in America have, in direct disobedience of the authority of the British legislature, refused to make provision for supplying the necessaries and in the manner required by the said act; and an act of assembly hath been passed, within the said province, for furnishing the barracks in the cities of New York and Albany with firewood and candles, and the other necessaries therein mentioned, for his Majesty's forces, inconsistent with the provisions, and in opposition to the directions, of the said act of parliament . . . That from and after the first day of October, one thousand seven hundred and sixty seven, until provision shall have been made by the said assembly of New York for furnishing his Majesty's troops within the said province, with all such necessaries as are required by the said Acts of Parliament, or any of them, to be furnished for such troops, it shall not be lawful for the governor, lieutenantgovernor, or person presiding or acting as governor or commander-in-chief, or for the council for the time being, within the colony, plantation, or province of New York in America, to pass, or give his or their assent to, or concurrence in, the making or passing of any act of assembly; or his or their assent to any order, resolution, or vote, in concurrence with the House of representatives for the time being within the said colony, plantation, or province; or for the said house of representatives to pass or make any bill, order, resolution, or vote (orders, resolutions, or votes, for adjourning such house only, excepted) of any kind, for any other purpose whatsoever; and that all acts of assembly, orders, resolutions, and votes whatsoever, which shall or may be passed, assented to, or made, contrary to the tenor and meaning of this Act, after the said first day of October, one thousand seven hundred and sixty-seven, within the said colony, plantation, or province, before and until provision shall have been made for supplying his Majesty's troops with necessaries as aforesaid, shall be, and are hereby declared to be null and void, and of no force or effect whatsoever.

II. Provided nevertheless, and it is hereby declared to be the true intent and meaning of this Act, that nothing herein before contained shall extend, or be construed to extend, to hinder, prevent, or invalidate, the choice, election, or approbation, of a speaker of the house of representatives for the time being within the said colony, plantation, or province.

The Circular Instruction of September 11, 1767

Whereas laws have at several times been passed in many of our colonies and plantations in America by which certain parishes and districts have been empowered and authorized to send representatives to the general assemblies of the respective colonies in which the said parishes and districts lie, and sundry other regulations have been introduced by those laws relative to the said assemblies; it is our will and pleasure and we do hereby require and command that you do not upon any pretense whatever give your assent to any law or laws to be passed in our province under your government by which the number of the assembly shall be enlarged or diminished, the duration of it ascertained, the qualification of the electors or the elected fixed or altered, or by which any regulations shall be established with respect thereto INCONSISTENT with our instructions to you our governor as prejudicial to that right or authority which you derive from us by virtue of our royal commission and instructions.



The Circular Letter of April 21, 1768

Sir,

I have his Majesty's Commands to transmit to you the inclosed copy of a letter from the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Colony of Massachusets Bay, adressed by order of that house to the Speaker of the Assembly of each Colony upon the Continent of north America.

As his Majesty considers this Measure to be of a most dangerous & factious tendency calculated to inflame the minds of his good Subjects in the Colonies, to promote an unwarrantable combination and to excite and encourage an open opposition to and denial of the Authority of Parliament, & to subvert the true principles of the constitution; It is his Majesty's pleasure that you should immediately upon the Receipt hereof exert your utmost influence to defeat this flagatious attempt to disturb the Public Peace by prevailing upon the Assembly of your Province to take no notice of it, which will be treating it with the contempt it deserves.

The repeated proofs which have been given by the Assembly of of their Reverence and respect for the laws, and of their faithful Attachment to the Constitution, leave little Room in his Majesty's Breast to doubt of their shewing a proper Resentment of this unjustifiable Attempt to revive those distractions which have operated so fatally to the prejudice of this kingdom and the Colonies; and accordingly his Majesty has the fullest confidence in their Affections But if notwithstanding these expectations and your most earnest endeavours, there should appear in the Assembly of your province a disposition to receive or give any Countenance to this Seditious paper, it will be your duty to prevent any proceeding upon it, by an immediate Prorogation or Dissolution. . . .

Hillsborough


Massachusetts Circular Letter February 11, 1768

Sir,

The House of Representatives of this Province have taken into their serious Consideration, the great difficultys that must accrue to themselves & their Constituents, by the operation of several acts of Parliament imposing Duties & Taxes on the American Colonys.

As it is a Subject in which every Colony is deeply interested they have no reason to doubt but your Assembly is deeply impressd with its Importance & that such constitutional measures will be come into as are proper It seems to be necessary, that all possible Care should be taken that the Representations of the several Assembly upon so delicate a point should harmonize with each other: The House therefore hope that this letter will

be candidly considerd in no other Light, than as expressing a Disposition freely to communicate their mind to a Sister Colony, upon a common Concern in the same manner as they would be glad to receive the Sentiments of your or any other House of Assembly on the Continent.

The House have humbly represented to the ministry, their own Sentiments that His Majestys high Court of Parliament is the supreme legislative power over the whole Empire: That in all free States the Constitution is fixd; & as the supreme Legislative derives its Power & Authority from the Constitution, it cannot overleap the Bounds of it without destroying its own foundation: That the Constitution ascertains & limits both Sovereignty & allegiance, & therefore, his Majestys American Subjects who acknowlege themselves bound by the Ties of Allegiance, have an equitable Claim to the full enjoyment of the fundamental Rules of the British Constitution. That it is an essential unalterable Right in nature, ingrafted into the British Constitution as a fundamental Law & ever held sacred & irrevocable by the

Subjects within the Realm, that what a man has honestly acquird is absolutely his own, which he may freely give, but cannot be taken from him without his consent: That the American Subjects may therefore exclusive of any Consideration of Charter Rights, with a decent firmness adapted to the Character of free men & Subjects assert this natural and constitutional

Right.

It is moreover their humble opinion, which they express with the greatest Deferrence to the Wisdom of the Parliament that the Acts made there imposing Duties on the People of this province with the sole & express purpose of raising a Revenue, are Infringements of their natural & constitutional Rights because as they are not represented in the British Parliament His Majestys Commons in Britain by those Acts grant their Property without their consent.

This House further are of Opinion that their Constituents considering their local Circumstances cannot by any possibility be represented in the Parliament, & that it will forever be impracticable that they should be equally represented there & consequently not at all; being seperated by an Ocean of a thousand leagues: and that his Majestys Royal Predecessors for this reason were graciously pleased to form a subordinate legislature here that their subjects might enjoy the unalienable Right of a Representation. Also that considering the utter Impracticability of their ever being fully & equally represented in parliament & the great Expence that must unavoidably attend even a partial representation there, this House think that a taxation of their Constituents even without their Consent, grievous as it is, would be Preferable to any Representation that could be admitted for them there.

Upon these principles, & also considering that were the right in Parlia- ment ever so clear, yet, for obvious reasons it would be beyond the rules of Equity that their Constituents should be taxed on the manufactures of Great Britain here, in Addition to the dutys they pay for them in England, & other Advantages arising to Great Britain from the Acts of trade, this House have Preferrd a humble dutifull & loyal Petition to our most gracious Sovereign, & made such Representations to his Majestys Ministers, as they apprehended would tend to obtain redress.

They have also submitted to Consideration whether any People can be said to enjoy any degree of Freedom if the Crown in addition to its undoubted Authority of constituting a Governor, should also appoint him such a StiPend as it may judge proper without the Consent of the people & at their Expence; and whether while the Judges of the Land & other Civil officers hold not their Commission during good Behavior, their having salarys appointed for them by the Crown independent of the people hath not a tendency to subvert the principles of Equity & endanger the Happiness & Security of the Subject.

In addition to these measures the House have wrote a Letter to their Agent, Mr De Berdt, the Sentiments of which he is directed to lay before the ministry : wherein they take Notice of the hardships of the Act for preventing Mutiny & Desertion, which requires the Governor & Council to Provide enumerated Articles for the Kings marching troops & the People to pay the Expences; & also of the Commission of the Gentlemen appointed Commissioners of the Customs to reside in America, which authorizes them to make as many Appointments as they think fit & to pay the Appointees what sum they please for whose Mal Conduct they are not accountable from whence it may happen that officers of the Crown may be multiplyd to such a degree as to become dangerous to the Liberty of the people by virtue of a Commission which doth not appear to this House to derive any such Advantages to Trade as many have been led to expect.

These are the Sentiments & proceedings of this House; & as they have too much reason to believe that the Enemys of the Colonys have represented them to his Majestys Ministers & the parliament as factious disloyal & having a disposition to make themselves independent of the Mother Country, they have taken occasion in the most humble terms to assure his Majesty & his ministers that with regard to the People of this province & as they doubt not of all the colonies the charge is unjust.

The house is fully satisfyd that your Assembly is too generous and enlargd in sentiment, to believe, that this Letter proceeds from an Ambition of taking the Lead or dictating to the other Assemblys: They freely submit their opinions to the Judgment of others, & shall take it kind in your house to point out to them any thing further which may be thought necessary.

This House cannot conclude without expressing their firm Confidence in the King our common head & Father, that the united and dutifull Supplication of his distressed American Subjects will meet with his royal & favourable Acceptance.





Boston Non-Importation Agreement, August 1, 1768

The merchants and traders in the town of Boston, having taken into consideration the deplorable situation of the trade and the many difficulties it at present labours under on account of the scarcity of money, which is daily decreasing for want of the other remittances to discharge our debts in Great Britain, and the large sums collected by the officers of the customs for duties on goods imported; the heavy taxes levied to discharge the debts contracted by the government in the late war; the embarrassments and restrictions laid on the trade by the several late Acts of Parliament; together with the bad success of our cod fishery this season, and the discouraging prospect of the whale fishery, by which our principal sources of remittances are like to be greatly diminished, and we thereby rendered unable to pay the debts we owe the merchants in Great Britain, and to continue the importation of goods from thence:

We, the subscribers, in order to relieve the trade under those discouragements, to promote industry, frugality, and economy, and to discourage luxury and every kind of extravagance, do promise and engage to and with each other as follows:

That we will not send or import from Great Britain this fall, either on our own account, or on commission, any other goods than what are already ordered for the fall supply.

That we will not send for or import any kind of goods or merchandise from Great Britain, either on our own account, or on commissions, or any otherwise, from January 1, 1769, to January 1, 1770, except salt, coals, fish-hooks and lines, hemp, duck, bar lead and shot, wool-cards, and card-wire.

That we will not purchase of any factors, or others, any kind of goods imported from Great Britain from January 1, 1769, to January 1, 1770. That we will not import on our own account, or on commission, or Purchase from any Who shall import from any other colony in America, from January 1, 1769, to January 1, 1770, any tea, glass, paper, or other goods commonly imported from Great Britain.

That we will not, from and after January 1, 1769, import into the province any tea, paper, glass, or painters' colours, until the Acts imposing duties on these articles have been repealed.



Resolutions of the Boston Town Meeting September 13, 1768

The committee appointed to take the state of our public affairs into consideration reported the following declaration and resolves:

Whereas it is the first principle in civil society, founded in nature and reason, that no law of the society can be binding on any individual without his consent, given by himself in person, or by his representative of his own free election; and whereas in and by an Act of the British Parliament passed in the first year of the reign of King William and Queen Mary, of glorious and blessed memory, entitled an Act declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject, and Settling the Succession of the Crown; the Preamble of which Act is in these words, viz: " Where.as the late King James the Second, by the assistance of diverse evil councillors, judges, and ministers employed by him, did endeavour to subvert and extirpate the Protestant religion, and the laws and liberties of this kingdom," it is expressly among other things declared, that the levying money for the use of the Crown, by pretence of prerogative, without grant of Parliament for a longer time or in other manner than the same is granted, is

illegal. And whereas in the third year of the reign of the same King William and Queen Mary, their Majesties were graciously pleased by their royal charter to give and grant to the inhabitants of his Majesty's province all the territory therein described, to be held in free and common socage; and also to ordain and grant to the said inhabitants certain rights, liberties, and privileges therein expressly mentioned; among which it is granted, established, and ordained, that all and every the subjects of them, their heirs and successors, which shall go to inhabit within said province and territory, and every of their children which shall happen to be born there, or on the seas in going thither, or returning from thence, shall have and enjoy all liberties and immunities of free and natural subjects, within any of the dominions of them, their heirs and successors, to all intents, purposes, and constructions whatever, as if they and every of them were born within the realm of England.

And whereas by the aforesaid Act of Parliament made in the first year of the said King William and Queen Mary, all and singular the promises contained therein, are claimed demanded, and insisted on as the undoubted rights and liberties of the subjects born within the realm.

And whereas the freeholders and other inhabitants of this town, the metropolis of the province in said charter mentioned, do hold all the rights and liberties therein contained to be sacred and inviolable - at the same time publicly and solemnly acknowledging their firm and unshaken allegiance to their alone and rightful sovereign King George the third, the lawful successor of the said King William and Queen Mary to the British throne.

Resolved, that the said freeholders and other inhabitants of the Town of Boston will at the utmost peril of their lives and fortunes take all legal and constitutional measures to defend and maintain the person, family, crown, and dignity of our said sovereign Lord George the third; and all and singular the rights, liberties, privileges, and immunities granted in the said royal charter, as well as those which are declared to be belonging to us as British subjects by birthright, as all others therein specially mentioned.

And whereas by the said royal charter it is specially granted to the Great and General Court or assembly therein constituted, to impose and levy proportionable and reasonable assessments, rates, and taxes upon the estates and persons of all and every the proprietors and inhabitants of said province or territory, for the service of the king in the necessary defence and support of his government of this province, and the protection and preservation of his subjects therein, therefore:

Voted, as the opinion of this town, that the levying money within this province for the use and service of the Crown in other manner than the same is granted by the Great and General Court or assembly of this province is in violation of the said royal charter; and the same is also in violation of the undoubted natural rights of subjects, declared in the aforesaid Act of Parliament, freely to give and grant their own money for the service of the Crown, with their own consent, in person, or by representatives of their own free election.

And whereas in the aforesaid Act of Parliament it is declared that the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace, unless it be with the consent of Parliament, is against law; it is the opinion of this town that the said declaration is founded in the indefeasible right of the subjects to be consulted, and to give their free consent in person, or by representatives of their own free election, to the raising and keeping a standing army among them; and the inhabitants of this town being free subjects, have the same right derived from nature and confirmed by the British constitution, as well as the said royal charter; and therefore the raising or keeping a standing army, without their consent in person or by representatives of their own free election, would be an infringement of their natural, constitutional, and charter rights; and the employing such army for the enforcing of laws made without the consent of the people, in person, or by their representatives, would be a grievance.

The aforegoing report being divers times distinctly read, and considered by the town, the question was put: whether the same shall be accepted and recorded, and passed unanimously in the affirmative. Upon a motion made and seconded, the following votes was unanimously passed, viz :

Whereas by an Act of Parliament of the first of King William and Queen Mary, it is declared that for the redress of all grievances, and for amending, strengthening, and preserving the laws, parliaments ought to be held frequently, and inasmuch as it is the opinion of this town that the people labour under many intolerable grievances which unless speedily redressed threaten the total destruction of our invaluable natural, constitutional, and charter rights:

And furthermore as his excellency the governor has declared himself unable, at the request of this town, to call a general court, which is the assembly of the states of this province for the redress of such grievances:

Voted, that this town will now make choice of a suitable number of persons to act for them as a committee in convention, with such as may be sent to join them from the several towns in this province, in order that such measures may be consulted and advised as his Majesty's service, and the peace and safety of his subjects in this province may require; whereupon the Hon. James Otis, Esq., the Hon. Thomas Cushinq, Esq., Mr. Samuel Adams, and John Hancock, Esq., were appointed a committee for the said purpose, the town hereafter to take into consideration what recompense shall be made them for the service they may perform.

Voted, that the selectmen be directed to write to the selectmen of the several towns within this province informing them of the aforegoing vote, and to propose that a convention be held, if they shall think proper, at Faneuil Hall, in this town, on Tuesday the 22d day of September, instant, at 10 o'clock before noon.



Resolves of Parliament February 9, 1769

Resolved, By the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in Parliament assembled, that the votes, resolutions, and proceedings of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts Bay, in the months of January and February, one thousand seven hundred and sixty-eight, respecting several late Acts of Parliament, so far as said votes, resolutions, and proceedings do import a denial of, or do draw into question the power and authority of his Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in Parliament assembled, to make laws and statutes of sufficient force and validity to bind the colonies and people of America, subjects to the Crown of Great Britain, in all cases whatsoever, ate illegal, unconstitutional, and derogatory of the rights of the Crown aud Parliament of Great Britain.

Resolved . . . that the resolution of the said House of Representatives of the province of Massachusetts Bay, to write letters to the several houses of representatives of the British colonies on the continent desiring them to join with the said House of Representatives of the province of Massachusetts Bay in petitions which do deny, or draw into question, the right of Parliament to impose duties and taxes upon his Majesty's subjects in America; and in pursuance of the said resolution, the writing such letters in which certain late acts of Parliament, imposing duties and taxes, are stated to be infringements of the rights of his Majesty's subjects of the said province, are proceedings of a most unwarrantable and dangerous nature, calculated to inflame thousands of his Majesty's subjects in the other colonies, tending to create unlawful combination, repugnant to the laws of Great Britain, and subversive of the constitution.

Resolved . . . that it appears that the town of Boston, in the province of Massachusetts Bay has for some time past been in a state of great disorder and confusion, and that the peace of the said town has at several times been disturbed by riots and tumults of a dangerous nature, in which the officers of his Majesty's revenue there have been obstructed by acts of violence in the execution of the laws, and their lives endangered.

Resolved . . that it appears that neither the Council of the said province of Massachusetts Bay nor the ordinary civil magistrates did exert their authority, for suppressing the said riots and tumults.

Resolved . . . that in these circumstances of the province of the Massachusetts Bay and of the town of Boston, the preservation of the public peace and the due execution of the laws became impracticable without the aid of a military force to support and protect the civil magistrate and the officers of his Majesty's revenue.

Resolved . . . that the declarations, resolutions, and proceedings in the town meetings at Boston, on the 14th of June, and 12th September, were illegal and unconstitutional, and calculated to excite sedition and insurrections in his Majesty's province of Massachusetts Bay.

Resolved . . . that the appointment at the town meeting on the 12th September of a convention to be held in the town of Boston on the 22d of that month to consist of deputies from the several towns and districts in the province of the Massachusetts Bay, and the writing a letter by the selectmen of the town of Boston to each of the said towns and districts, for the election of such deputies were proceedings subversive of his Majesty's government and evidently manifesting a design in the inhabitants of the said town of Boston, to set up a new and unconstitutional authority independent of the Crown of Great Britain.

Resolved . . . that the elections by several towns and districts in the province of Massachusetts Bay of deputies to sit in the said convention and the meeting of such convention in consequence thereof were daring insults offered to his Majesty's authority, and audacious usurpations of the powers of government.



Virginia Resolutions May 16, 1769

Resolved, nem. com., that the sole right of imposing taxes on the inhabitants of this his Majesty's colony and dominion of Virginia is now, and ever has been, legally and constitutionally vested in the House of Burgesses, lawfully convened according to the ancient and established practice, with the consent of the Council, and of his Majesty the king of Great Britain, or his governor for the time being.

Resolved, that it is the undoubted privilege of the inhabitants of this colony to petition their sovereign for redress of grievances; and that it is lawful and expedient to procure the concurrence of his Majesty's other colonies in dutiful addresses, praying the royal interposition in favour of the violated rights of America.

Resolved, that all trials for treason, misprision of treason, or for any felony or crime whatsoever committed and done in this his Majesty's said colony and dominion by any person or persons residing therein, ought of right to be had and conducted in and before his Majesty's courts held within the said colony, according to the fixed and known course of proceeding; and that the seizing any person or persons residing in this colony, suspected of any crime whatsoever committed therein, and sending such person or persons to places beyond the sea to be tried, is highly derogatory of the rights of British subjects, as thereby the inestimable privilege of being tried by a jury from the vicinage, as well as the liberty of summoning and producing witnesses on such trial, will be taken away from the party accused.

Resolved, that an humble, dutiful, and loyal address be presented to his Majesty to assure him of our inviolable attachment to his sacred person and government, and to beseech his royal interposition, as the father of all his people, however remote from the seat of his empire, to quiet the minds of his loyal subject of this colony, and to avert from them those dangers and miseries which will ensue from the seizing and carrying beyond the sea any persons residing in America suspected of any crime whatsoever, to be tried in any other manner than by the ancient and long established course of proceeding.

Charleston non-importation agreement (22nd July 1769)

We, his Majesty's dutiful and loving subjects, the inhabitants of South Carolina, being sensibly affected with the great prejudice done to Great Britain, and the abject and wretched condition to which the British colonies are reduced by several Acts of Parliament lately passed; by some of which the moneys that the colonists usually and cheerfully spent in the purchase of all sorts of goods imported from Great Britain, are now, to their great grievance, wrung from them, without their consent, or even their being represented, and applied by the ministry, in prejudice of, and without regard to, the real interest of Great Britain, or the manufactures thereof, almost totally, to the support of new-created commissioners of customs, placemen, parasitical and novel ministerial officers ; and by others of which Acts we are not only deprived of those invaluable rights, trial by our peers and the common law, but are also made subject to the arbitrary and oppressive proceedings of the civil law, justly abhorred and rejected by our ancestors, the freemen of England; and finding that the most dutiful and loyal petitions from the colonies alone, for redress of those grievances, have been rejected with contempt so that no relief can be expected from that method of proceedings; and being fully convinced of the absolute necessity of stimulating our fellow subjects and sufferers in Great Britain to aid us in this our distress, and of joining the rest of the colonies in some other loyal and vigorous methods that may most probably procure such relief, which we believe may be most effectually promoted by strict economy, and by encouraging the manufactures of America in general, and of this province in particular: we therefore, whose names are underwritten, do solemnly promise, and agree to and with each other, that, until the colonies be restored to their former freedom by the repeal of the said Acts, we will most strictly abide by the following

RESOLUTIONS

I That we will encourage and promote the use of North American manufactures in general, and those of this province in particular And any of us who are vendors thereof, do engage to sell and dispose of them at the same rates as heretofore

II That we will upon no pretence whatsoever, either upon our own account or on commission, import into this province any of the manufactures of Great Britain, or any other European or East India goods, either from Great Britain, Holland, or any other place, other than such as may have been shipped in consequence of former orders; excepting only Negro cloth, commonly called white and coloured plains, not exceeding one shilling and six pence sterling per yard, canvas, bolting cloths, drugs and family medicines, plantation and workmen's tools, nails, firearms, bar steel, gunpowder, shot, lead, flints, wire cards and card-wire, mill and grindstones, fishhooks, printed books and pamphlets, salt, coals, and saltpetre and exclusive of these articles, we do solemnly promise and declare that we will immediately countermand all orders to our correspondents in Great Britain for shipping any such goods and merchandise; and we will sell and dispose of the goods we have on hand, or that may arrive in consequence of former orders at the same rates as heretofore.

III That we will use the utmost economy in our persons, horses, and furniture; particularly, that we will give no mourning, or gloves, or scarves at funerals

IV That from and after the 1st day of January, 1770, we will not import, buy or sell any Negroes that shall be brought into this province from Africa; nor after the 1st day of October next, any Negroes that shall be imported from the West Indies, or any other place excepting from Africa as aforesaid; and that if any goods or Negroes shall be sent to w contrary to our agreement in this subscription, such goods shall be re-shipped or stored, and such Negroes re-shipped from this province, and not by any means offered for sale therein

V That we will not purchase from, or sell for, any masters of vessels, transient persons, or non-subscribers, any kind of European or East India goods whatever, excepting coals and salt, after the 1st day of November next

VI That as wines are subject to a heavy duty, we agree not to import any on our account or commission, or purchase from any master of vessel, transient person, or non-subscriber, after the 1st day of January next

VII Lastly, that we will not purchase any Negroes imported, or any goods or merchandise whatever, from any resident in this province, that refuses or neglects to sign this agreement within one month from the date hereof; excepting it shall appear he has been unavoidably prevented from doing the same And every subscriber who shall nor strictly and literally adhere to this agreement, according to the true intent and meaning hereof, ought to be treated with the utmost contempt.

South Carolina Resolutions August 19, 1769

The house (according to order) proceeded to take into consideration the letter from the Honourable Peyton Randolph, Esquire, late speaker of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, to the speaker of this house, and also the resolutions which were entered into by the said House of Burgesses of Virginia; and the said letter and resolutions being severally read, the house came to the following resolutions thereupon

Resolved, Nemine Contradicente, that the sole right of imposing taxes on the inhabitants of the province of South Carolina, is now and ever has been legally and constitutionally vested in the Commons House of Assembly lawfully convened according to the ancient and established practice, with the consent of the Council, and of his Majesty the king of Great Britain, or his governor for the time being.

Resolved, Nemine Contradicente, that it is the undoubted privilege of the inhabitants of this colony to petition their sovereign for redress of grievances; and that it is lawful and expedient to procure the concurrence of his Majesty's other colonies in dutiful addresses, praying the royal interposition in favour of the violated rights of America.

Resolved, Nemine Contradicente, that all trials for treason, misprision of treason or for any felony or crime whatsoever, committed and done in this his Majesty's said province, by any person or persons residing therein, ought of right to be had and conducted in and before his Majesty's courts, held within the said province according to the fixed and known course of proceeding and that the seizing any person or persons residing in this province suspected of any crime whatsoever committed therein, and sending such person or persons to places beyond the sea to be tried is oppressive and illegal, and highly derogatory of the rights of British subjects; as thereby the inestimable privilege of being tried by a jury from the vicinage, as well as the benefit of summoning and producing witnesses on such trial, will be taken away from the party accused.

Resolved, Nemine Contradicente, that the statute made in the thirty-fifth year of the reign of King Henry the VIII, Chapter 11, entitled " An Act for the trial of Treasons committed out of the King's Dominions," does not extend, and cannot but by an arbitrary and cruel construction of the said Act, be construed to extend to treasons, misprisions of treasons, or concealments of treasons, committed in any of his Majesty's American colonies where there is sufficient provision by the laws of the laud for the impartial trial of all such persons as are charged with, and for the due punishment of such as are convicted, of those offences.

Resolved, Nemine Contradicente, that an humble, dutiful, and loyal address be presented to his Majesty, to assure him of our inviolable attachment to his sacred person and government; and to beseech his royal interposition, as the father of all his people, however remote from the seat of his empire, to quiet the minds of his loyal subjects of this colony, and to avert from them those dangers and miseries which will ensue from the sizing and carrying beyond sea any persons residing in America, suspected of any crime whatsoever, to be tried in any other manner than by the ancient and long established course of preceding.


This Document was prepared by Peter King
Email: pking@ccs.carleton.ca
Last modification date: 23-12-96