A B C D E F
G H I J K L M 

Total read books on site:
more than 10 000

You can read its for free!


Text on one page: Few Medium Many
With
some, it was a passionate abhorrence against the king of England and his
ministry, as a set of savages and brutes; and these men, governed by
the agony of a wounded mind, were for trusting every thing to hope and
heaven, and bidding defiance at once. With others, it was a growing
conviction that the scheme of the British court was to create, ferment
and drive on a quarrel, for the sake of confiscated plunder: and men
of this class ripened into independence in proportion as the evidence
increased. While a third class conceived it was the true interest of
America, internally and externally, to be her own master, and gave their
support to independence, step by step, as they saw her abilities to
maintain it enlarge. With many, it was a compound of all these reasons;
while those who were too callous to be reached by either, remained, and
still remain Tories.

The legal necessity of being independent, with several collateral
reasons, is pointed out in an elegant masterly manner, in a charge to
the grand jury for the district of Charleston, by the Hon. William
Henry Drayton, chief justice of South Carolina, [April 23, 1776]. This
performance, and the address of the convention of New York, are pieces,
in my humble opinion, of the first rank in America.

The principal causes why independence has not been so universally
supported as it ought, are fear and indolence, and the causes why it
has been opposed, are, avarice, down-right villany, and lust of personal
power. There is not such a being in America as a Tory from conscience;
some secret defect or other is interwoven in the character of all those,
be they men or women, who can look with patience on the brutality,
luxury and debauchery of the British court, and the violations of their
army here. A woman's virtue must sit very lightly on her who can even
hint a favorable sentiment in their behalf. It is remarkable that the
whole race of prostitutes in New York were tories; and the schemes for
supporting the Tory cause in this city, for which several are now
in jail, and one hanged, were concerted and carried on in common
bawdy-houses, assisted by those who kept them.

The connection between vice and meanness is a fit subject for satire,
but when the satire is a fact, it cuts with the irresistible power of a
diamond. If a Quaker, in defence of his just rights, his property,
and the chastity of his house, takes up a musket, he is expelled the
meeting; but the present king of England, who seduced and took into
keeping a sister of their society, is reverenced and supported by
repeated Testimonies, while, the friendly noodle from whom she was taken
(and who is now in this city) continues a drudge in the service of his
rival, as if proud of being cuckolded by a creature called a king.

Our support and success depend on such a variety of men and
circumstances, that every one who does but wish well, is of some use:
there are men who have a strange aversion to arms, yet have hearts to
risk every shilling in the cause, or in support of those who have better
talents for defending it. Nature, in the arrangement of mankind, has
fitted some for every service in life: were all soldiers, all would
starve and go naked, and were none soldiers, all would be slaves. As
disaffection to independence is the badge of a Tory, so affection to
it is the mark of a Whig; and the different services of the Whigs, down
from those who nobly contribute every thing, to those who have nothing
to render but their wishes, tend all to the same center, though with
different degrees of merit and ability. The larger we make the circle,
the more we shall harmonize, and the stronger we shall be. All we want
to shut out is disaffection, and, that excluded, we must accept from
each other such duties as we are best fitted to bestow. A narrow system
of politics, like a narrow system of religion, is calculated only to
sour the temper, and be at variance with mankind.

All we want to know in America is simply this, who is for independence,
and who is not? Those who are for it, will support it, and the remainder
will undoubtedly see the reasonableness of paying the charges; while
those who oppose or seek to betray it, must expect the more rigid fate
of the jail and the gibbet. There is a bastard kind of generosity, which
being extended to all men, is as fatal to society, on one hand, as the
want of true generosity is on the other. A lax manner of administering
justice, falsely termed moderation, has a tendency both to dispirit
public virtue, and promote the growth of public evils. Had the late
committee of safety taken cognizance of the last Testimony of the
Quakers and proceeded against such delinquents as were concerned
therein, they had, probably, prevented the treasonable plans which
have been concerted since. When one villain is suffered to escape, it
encourages another to proceed, either from a hope of escaping likewise,
or an apprehension that we dare not punish. It has been a matter of
general surprise, that no notice was taken of the incendiary publication
of the Quakers, of the 20th of November last; a publication evidently
intended to promote sedition and treason, and encourage the enemy, who
were then within a day's march of this city, to proceed on and possess
it. I here present the reader with a memorial which was laid before the
board of safety a few days after the Testimony appeared. Not a member of
that board, that I conversed with, but expressed the highest detestation
of the perverted principles and conduct of the Quaker junto, and a wish
that the board would take the matter up; notwithstanding which, it was
suffered to pass away unnoticed, to the encouragement of new acts of
treason, the general danger of the cause, and the disgrace of the state.



To the honorable the Council of Safety of the State of
Pennsylvania.

At a meeting of a reputable number of the inhabitants of the city of
Philadelphia, impressed with a proper sense of the justice of the cause
which this continent is engaged in, and animated with a generous fervor
for supporting the same, it was resolved, that the following be laid
before the board of safety:

"We profess liberality of sentiment to all men; with this distinction
only, that those who do not deserve it would become wise and seek
to deserve it. We hold the pure doctrines of universal liberty of
conscience, and conceive it our duty to endeavor to secure that sacred
right to others, as well as to defend it for ourselves; for we undertake
not to judge of the religious rectitude of tenets, but leave the whole
matter to Him who made us.

"We persecute no man, neither will we abet in the persecution of any
man for religion's sake; our common relation to others being that of
fellow-citizens and fellow-subjects of one single community; and in this
line of connection we hold out the right hand of fellowship to all men.
But we should conceive ourselves to be unworthy members of the free and
independent States of America, were we unconcernedly to see or to suffer
any treasonable wound, public or private, directly or indirectly, to be
given against the peace and safety of the same. We inquire not into the
rank of the offenders, nor into their religious persuasion; we have no
business with either, our part being only to find them out and exhibit
them to justice.

"A printed paper, dated the 20th of November, and signed 'John
Pemberton,' whom we suppose to be an inhabitant of this city, has lately
been dispersed abroad, a copy of which accompanies this. Had the framers
and publishers of that paper conceived it their duty to exhort the youth
and others of their society, to a patient submission under the present
trying visitations, and humbly to wait the event of heaven towards them,
they had therein shown a Christian temper, and we had been silent; but
the anger and political virulence with which their instructions are
given, and the abuse with which they stigmatize all ranks of men not
thinking like themselves, leave no doubt on our minds from what spirit
their publication proceeded: and it is disgraceful to the pure cause of
truth, that men can dally with words of the most sacred import, and play
them off as mechanically as if religion consisted only in contrivance.
We know of no instance in which the Quakers have been compelled to bear
arms, or to do any thing which might strain their conscience; wherefore
their advice, 'to withstand and refuse to submit to the arbitrary
instructions and ordinances of men,' appear to us a false alarm, and
could only be treasonably calculated to gain favor with our enemies,
when they are seemingly on the brink of invading this State, or, what
is still worse, to weaken the hands of our defence, that their entrance
into this city might be made practicable and easy.

"We disclaim all tumult and disorder in the punishment of offenders;
and wish to be governed, not by temper but by reason, in the manner of
treating them. We are sensible that our cause has suffered by the two
following errors: first, by ill-judged lenity to traitorous persons in
some cases; and, secondly, by only a passionate treatment of them in
others. For the future we disown both, and wish to be steady in our
proceedings, and serious in our punishments.

"Every State in America has, by the repeated voice of its inhabitants,
directed and authorized the Continental Congress to publish a formal
Declaration of Independence of, and separation from, the oppressive king
and Parliament of Great Britain; and we look on every man as an
enemy, who does not in some line or other, give his assistance towards
supporting the same; at the same time we consider the offence to be
heightened to a degree of unpardonable guilt, when such persons,
under the show of religion, endeavor, either by writing, speaking, or
otherwise, to subvert, overturn, or bring reproach upon the independence
of this continent as declared by Congress.

"The publishers of the paper signed 'John Pemberton,' have called in a
loud manner to their friends and connections, 'to withstand or refuse'
obedience to whatever 'instructions or ordinances' may be published, not
warranted by (what they call) 'that happy Constitution under which they
and others long enjoyed tranquillity and peace.' If this be not treason,
we know not what may properly be called by that name.

"To us it is a matter of surprise and astonishment, that men with the
word 'peace, peace,' continually on their lips, should be so fond of
living under and supporting a government, and at the same time calling
it 'happy,' which is never better pleased than when a war--that has
filled India with carnage and famine, Africa with slavery, and tampered
with Indians and negroes to cut the throats of the freemen of America.
We conceive it a disgrace to this State, to harbor or wink at such
palpable hypocrisy.



Pages: | Prev | | 1 | | 2 | | 3 | | 4 | | 5 | | 6 | | 7 | | 8 | | 9 | | 10 | | 11 | | 12 | | 13 | | 14 | | 15 | | 16 | | 17 | | 18 | | 19 | | 20 | | 21 | | 22 | | 23 | | 24 | | 25 | | 26 | | 27 | | 28 | | 29 | | 30 | | 31 | | 32 | | 33 | | 34 | | 35 | | 36 | | 37 | | 38 | | 39 | | 40 | | 41 | | 42 | | 43 | | 44 | | 45 | | 46 | | 47 | | 48 | | 49 | | 50 | | 51 | | 52 | | 53 | | 54 | | 55 | | 56 | | 57 | | 58 | | 59 | | 60 | | 61 | | 62 | | 63 | | 64 | | 65 | | 66 | | 67 | | 68 | | 69 | | 70 | | 71 | | 72 | | 73 | | 74 | | 75 | | 76 | | 77 | | 78 | | 79 | | 80 | | 81 | | 82 | | 83 | | 84 | | 85 | | 86 | | 87 | | 88 | | 89 | | 90 | | 91 | | 92 | | 93 | | 94 | | 95 | | 96 | | 97 | | 98 | | 99 | | 100 | | 101 | | 102 | | 103 | | 104 | | 105 | | 106 | | 107 | | 108 | | 109 | | 110 | | 111 | | 112 | | 113 | | 114 | | 115 | | 116 | | 117 | | 118 | | 119 | | 120 | | 121 | | 122 | | 123 | | 124 | | 125 | | 126 | | 127 | | 128 | | 129 | | 130 | | 131 | | 132 | | 133 | | 134 | | 135 | | 136 | | 137 | | 138 | | 139 | | 140 | | 141 | | 142 | | 143 | | 144 | | 145 | | 146 | | 147 | | 148 | | 149 | | 150 | | 151 | | 152 | | 153 | | 154 | | 155 | | 156 | | 157 | | 158 | | 159 | | 160 | | 161 | | 162 | | 163 | | 164 | | 165 | | 166 | | 167 | | 168 | | 169 | | 170 | | 171 | | 172 | | 173 | | 174 | | 175 | | 176 | | 177 | | 178 | | 179 | | 180 | | 181 | | 182 | | 183 | | 184 | | 185 | | 186 | | 187 | | 188 | | 189 | | 190 | | 191 | | 192 | | 193 | | 194 | | 195 | | 196 | | 197 | | 198 | | 199 | | 200 | | 201 | | 202 | | 203 | | 204 | | 205 | | 206 | | 207 | | 208 | | 209 | | 210 | | 211 | | 212 | | 213 | | 214 | | 215 | | 216 | | 217 | | 218 | | 219 | | 220 | | 221 | | 222 | | 223 | | 224 | | 225 | | 226 | | 227 | | 228 | | 229 | | 230 | | 231 | | Next |

N O P Q R S T
U V W X Y Z 

Your last read book:

You dont read books at this site.