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Correspondence of Governor Sharpe, 1761-1771
Volume 14, Page 294   View pdf image (33K)
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294 Correspondence of Governor Sharpe.

been tried, & has failed, is extremely ill founded, as it mani-
festly Appears from the whole Tenor of the Papers laid
before us, that if this Experiment had been properly tried
with the same Zeal for its Success with which it was first pro-
posed, it would not have failed in any of the Colonies: and
that this was the Opinion of the greater part of the Governors
in North America, & of many of the most intelligent & respec-
tible Persons in those Provinces for some time after this Act
had Passed is Evident beyond a doubt from the Letters of the
former now upon our Table, and from the latter having
Applyed for & Accepted the Office of Distributor of the
Stamps under that Act which they certainly wod not have
done & thereby have exposed their Lives and Fortunes to
the Violence and Outrages which they have since Undergone
if they had then thought the Success of this measure in any
Degree precarious: nor have we heard of any Impracticability
Attending this Law in Jamaica & Barbadoes & some other of
the West India Islands or in those of our Colonies in North
America where it has been Executed.
4thly Because, a Precedent of the two Houses of Parliam'
lending their Power from Motives of Fear or Impatience under
a present Uneasiness to Overturn in One Month a Plan of
Measures, undertaken with their Warmest Approbation &
Concurrence, after the most mature deliberation of two years
together, for the Improvement of our Revenue, and the Relief
of our People, will effectually discourage all Officers of the
Crown in America from doing their Duty, and Executing the
Laws of this Kingdom: and is enough to deter future Minis-
ters, in any Circumstances of Distress or Danger to their
Country, from Opposing their Fortitude, and Zeal for the
Service of the Publick to strong Combinations of Private and
Particular Interests, to the Clamour of Multitudes or to the
Malice of Factions: which must necessarily bring on such a
Weakness and Pusillanimity in the Administration of Govern-
ment as will soon end in the Downfall and Ruin of the State.
Lastly. Because, the Repeal of this Law, under the present
Circumstances, Will We fear, not only Surrender the Honor
& essential Interests of the Kingdom now and forever both at
Home & Abroad, but will also deeply Affect the Fundamental
Principles of our Constitution. For If we Pass this Bill
against our Opinion, from the Threats and Compulsion Pub-
lickly Avowed in our Colonies & enforced by the most Unjus-
tifiable means within Great Britain, We disclaim that Legisla-
tive Authority over the Subjects,which we own ourselves unable
to maintain. If We give our Consent to it here, without a
full Conviction, that it is right merely because it has passed
the other House, by declining to do our Duty on the most
Important Occasion which can ever present itself and where



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Correspondence of Governor Sharpe, 1761-1771
Volume 14, Page 294   View pdf image (33K)   << PREVIOUS  NEXT >>

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