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on the throne, and to secure to him the affections of his people, than this distinction. By it we are taught to consider all the blessings of government as flowing from the throne; and to consider every instance of oppression as proceeding, which in truth is oftenest the case, from the ministers.
If, now, it is true that all force employed for the purposes so often mentioned, is force unwarranted by any act of Parliament; unsupported by any principle of the common law; unauthorized by any commission from the Crown; that, instead of being employed for the support of the constitution and his majesty's government, it must be employed for the support of oppression and ministerial tyranny; if all this is true (and I flatter myself it appears to be true), can any one hesitate to say that to resist such force is lawful; and that both the letter and the spirit of the British constitution justify such resistance?
Resistance, both by the letter and the spirit of the British constitution, may be carried further, when necessity requires it, than I have carried it. Many examples in the English history might be adduced, and many authorities of the greatest weight might be brought to show that when the king, forgetting his character and his dignity, has stepped forth and openly avowed and taken a part in such iniquitous conduct as has been described; in such cases, indeed, the distinction above mentioned, wisely made by the constitution for the security of the Crown, could not be applied; because the Crown had unconstitutionally rendered the application of it impossible. What has been the consequence? The distinction between him and his ministers has been lost; but they have not been raised to his situation; he has sunk to theirs.
William Henry Drayton.
BORN at Drayton Hall, Ashley River, 8. C., 1742. DIED in Philadelphia, Penn., 1779.
AN ARRAIGNMENT OF GEORGE III.
[From a Charge to the Grand Jury of Charleston, S. C., 23 April, 1776.]
to which it had been called by a free people, when, in the year 1719, our ancestors in this country, finding that the government of the lords proprietors operated to their ruin, exercised the rights transmitted to them by their forefathers of England; and, casting off the proprietary
authority, called upon the house of Brunswick to rule over them—a house elevated to royal dominion, for no other purpose than to preserve to a people their unalienable rights. The king accepted the invitation, and thereby indisputably admitted the legality of that revolution. And in so doing, by his own act, he vested in those our forefathers, and us their posterity, a clear right to effect another revolution, if ever the government of the house of Brunswick should operate to the ruin of the people. So the excellent Roman emperor, Trajan, delivered a sword to Saburanus, his captain of the Prætorian guard, with this admired sentence: "Receive this sword, and use it to defend me if I govern well, but against me, if I behave ill."
With joyful acclamations our ancestors, by act of Assembly, passed on the 18th day of August, 1721, recognized the British monarch. The virtues of the second George are still revered among us—he was the father of his people: and it was with ecstasy we saw his grandson, George the Third, mount the throne possessed of the hearts of his subjects.
But alas! almost with the commencement of his reign, his subjects felt causes to complain of government. The reign advanced—the griev. ances became more numerous and intolerable—the complaints more general and loud—the whole empire resounded with the cries of injured subjects! At length, grievances being unredressed and ever increasing; all patience being borne down; all hope destroyed; all confidence in royal government blasted !—Behold! the empire is rent from pole to pole!-perhaps to continue asunder forever.
The catalogue of our oppressions, continental and local, is enormous. Of such oppressions, I will mention only some of the most weighty.
Under color of law, the king and parliament of Great Britain have made the most arbitrary attempts to enslave America:
By claiming a right to bind the colonies “in all cases whatsoever;" By laying duties, at their mere will and pleasure, upon all the colonies; By suspending the legislature of New York ;
By rendering the American charters of no validity, having annulled the most material parts of the charter of the Massachusetts Bay;
By divesting multitudes of the colonists of their property, without legal accusation or trial;
By depriving whole colonies of the bounty of Providence on their own proper coasts, in order to coerce them by famine;
By restricting the trade and commerce of America;
By sending to, and continuing in America, in time of peace, an armed force, without and against the consent of the people;
By granting impunity to a soldiery instigated to murder the Americans;
By declaring, that the people of Massachusetts Bay are liable for offences, or pretended offences, done in that colony, to be sent to, and
tried for the same in England, or in any colony where they cannot have the benefit of a jury of the vicinage;
By establishing in Quebec the Roman Catholic religion, and an arbitrary government, instead of the Protestant religion and a free government.
And thus America saw it demonstrated, that no faith ought to be put in a royal proclamation; for I must observe to you that, in the year 1763, by such a proclamation, people were invited to settle in Canada, and were assured of a legislative representation, the benefit of the common law of England, and a free government. It is a misfortune to the public, that this is not the only instance of the inefficacy of a royal proclamation.
BORN in South Kingston, R. I., 1741. DIED at West Fairlee, Vt., 1828.
THE AMERICAN HERO.
(4 Sapphic Ode, written in the time of the American Revolution. 1775.]
HY should vain mortals tremble at the sight of
Death and destruction in the field of battle,
Sounding with death-groans ?
Death will invade us by the means appointed,
What shape he comes in.
Infinite Goodness teaches us submission,
God, our Creator.
Well may we praise him: all his ways are perfect:
Struck blind by lustre.
Good is Jehovah in bestowing sunshine,
O, then, exult that God forever reigneth;
Shout louder praises.
Then to the wisdom of my Lord and Master
When called to yield it.
Now, Mars, I dare thee, clad in smoky pillars, Bursting from bomb-shells, roaring from the cannon, Rattling in grape-shot like a storm of hailstones,
Up the bleak heavens let the spreading flames rise,
Wantonly burned down.
While all their hearts quick palpitate for havoc,
Dreadful as demons!
Let oceans waft on all your floating castles,
Bear down to battle.
From the dire caverns, made by ghostly miners,
Quick to destruction.
Still shall the banner of the King of Heaven
War, I defy thee.
Fame and dear freedom lure me on to battle,
To the encounter.
Life, for my country and the cause of freedom,
Life is redoubled.
BORN at “Shadwell,” Albemarle Co., Va., 1743.
DIED at Monticello, Va., 1826.
PASSAGES FROM HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY.
[The Writings of Thomas Jefferson. Edited by H. A. Washington. 1854.]
CONCERNING THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.
York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and South Carolina were not yet matured for falling from the parent stem, but that they were fast advancing to that state, it was thought most prudent to wait a while for them, and to postpone the final decision to July 1st; but, that this might occasion as little delay as possible, a committee was appointed to prepare a Declaration of Independence. The committee were John Adams, Dr. Franklin, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, and myself. Committees were also appointed, at the same time, to prepare a plan of confederation for the colonies, and to state the terms proper to be proposed for foreign alliance. The committee for drawing the Declaration of Independence desired me to do it. It was accordingly done, and being approved by them, I reported it to the House on Friday, the 28th of June, when it was read, and ordered to lie on the table. On Monday, the 1st of July, the House resolved itself into a committee of the whole, and resumed the consideration of the original motion made by the delegates of Virginia, which, being again debated through the day, was carried in the affirmative by the votes of New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia. South Carolina and Pennsylvania voted against it. Delaware had but two members present, and they were divided. The delegates from New York declared they were for it themselves, and were assured their constituents were for it; but that their instructions having been drawn near a twelvemonth before, when reconciliation was still the general object, they were enjoined by them to do nothing which should impede that object. They, therefore, thought themselves not justifiable in voting on either side, and asked leave to withdraw from the question; which was given them. The committee rose and reported their resolution to the House. Mr. Edward Rutledge, of South Carolina, then requested the determination might be put off to the next day, as he believed his colleagues, though they disapproved of the resolution, would then join in it for the sake of unanimity. The ultimate question, whether the House would agree to the resolution of the committee, was accord