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HistRevolV1_051-100.indd 21 3/16/12 11:41 AM CHAPTER V General Gage appointed Governor of Massachusetts • General Assembly meet at Salem • A proposal for a Congress from all the Colonies, to be convened at Philadelphia • Mandamus Counsellors obliged to resign • Resolutions of the General Congress • Occasional observations • The Massachusetts attentive to the military Discipline of their Youth • Suffolk Resolves • A Provincial Congress chosen in the Massachusetts • Governor Gage summons a new House of Representatives [127] The speculatist and the philosopher frequently observe a casual CHAP. v subordination of circumstances independent of political decision, 1 7 7 4 which fixes the character and manners of nations. This thought may be piously improved till it leads the mind to view those casualties, . directed by a secret hand which points the revolutions of time, and decides the fate of empires. The occasional instruments for the completion of the grand system of Providence, have seldom any other stimulus but the bubble offame, the lust of wealth, or some contemptible passion that centres in self Even the bosom of virtue warmed by higher principles, and the man actuated by nobler motives, walks in a narrow sphere of comprehension. The scale by which the ideas of mortals are circumscribed generally limits his wishes to a certain point without consideration, or a just calculation of extensive consequences. [128] Thus while the king of Great Britain was contending with the colonies for a three-penny duty on tea, and the Americans with the bold spirit of patriotism resisting an encroachment on their rights, the one thought they only asked a moderate and reasonable indulgence from their sovereign, which they had a right to demand if withheld; on the other side, the most severe and strong measures were adopted and exercised towards the colonies, which parliament considered as only the proper and necessary chastisement of rebellious subjects. Thus on the eve of one of the most remarkable revolutions recorded in the page of history, a revolution which Great Britain precipitated by her 71 HistRevolV1_051-100.indd 22 3/16/12 11:41 AM 72 WARREN'S HISTORY OF THE REVOLUTI0\1 CHAP. v indiscretion, and which the hardiest sons of America viewed in the 1 7 7 4 beginning of opposition as a work reserved for the enterprising hand of posterity, few on either side comprehended the magnitude of the contest, and fewer still had the courage to name the independence of the American colonies as the ultimatum of their designs. After the spirits of men had been wrought up to a high tone of resentment, by repeated injuries on the one hand, and an open resistance on the other, there was little reason to expect a ready compliance with regulations, repugnant to the feelings, the principles, and the interest of Americans. The parliament of Britain therefore thought it expedient to enforce obedience by the sword, and determined to send [129] out an armament sufficient for the purpose, early in the spring one thousand seven hundred and seventy-four. The subjugation of the colonies by arms, was yet considered in England by some as a work of such facility, that four or five regiments, with a few ships of the line, were equal to the business, provided they were commanded by officers who had not sagacity enough to judge of the impropriety of the measures of administration, nor humanity to feel for the miseries of the people, or liberality to endeavour to mitigate the rigors of government. In consequence of this opinion, admiral Montague was recalled from Boston, and admiral Graves appointed to succeed, whose character was known to be more avaricious, severe and vigilant than his predecessor, and in all respects a more fit instrument to execute the weak, indigested and irritating system. General Gage, unhappily for himself, as will appear in the sequel, was selected as a proper person to take the command of all his majesty's forces in North America, and reduce the country to submission . He had married a lady of respectable connexions in New York, and had held with considerable reputation for several years a military employment in the colonies. He was at this time appointed governor and commander in chief of the province of Massachusetts Bay; directed to repair immediately there, and on his arrival to remove the seat of [130] government from Boston, and to convene the general assembly to meet at Salem, a smaller town, situated about twenty miles from the capital. The governor, the lieutenant-governor, the...


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