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matics-than which, at least, so much of them as relates to surveying, nothing can be more essentially necessary to any man possessed of a large landed estate, the bounds of some part or other of which are always in controversy. Now whether he has time between this and next spring to acquire a sufficient knowledge of these studies, I leave you to judge; as, also, whether a boy of seventeen years old (which will be his age next November), can have any just notions of the end and design of travelling. I have already given it as my opinion that it would be precipitating this event, unless he were to go immediately

to the university for a couple of years; in which case he could see nothing of America; which might be a disadvantage to him, as it is to be expected that every man, who travels with a view of observing the laws and customs of other countries, should be able to give some description of the situation and government of

his own."

The following are extracts from the letter to Benedict Calvert, Esq., the young lady's father:

"I write to you on a subject of importance, and of no small embarrassment to me. My son-in-law and ward, Mr. Custis, has, as I have been informed, paid his addresses to your second daughter; and having made some progress in her affections, has solicited her

in marriage. How far a union of this sort may be agreeable to you, you best can tell; but I should think myself wanting in candor, were I not to confess that Miss Nelly's amiable qualities are acknowledged on all hands, and that an alliance with your family will be pleasing to his.

“This acknowledgment being made, you must permit me to add, sir, that at this, or in any short time,

his youth, inexperience, and unripened education are, and will be, insuperable obstacles, in my opinion, to the completion of the marriage. As his guardian, I conceive it my indispensable duty to endeavor to carry him through a regular course of education (many branches of which, I am sorry to say, he is totally deficient in), and to guide his youth to a more advanced age, before an event, on which his own peace and the happiness of another are to depend, takes place. If the affection which they have avowed for each other is fixed upon a solid basis, it will receive no diminution in the course of two or three years; in which time he may prosecute his stu




dies, and thereby render himself more deserving of the lady, and useful to society. If, unfortunately, as they are both young, there should be an abatement of affection on either side, or both, it had better precede than follow marriage.

66 'Delivering my sentiments thus freely, will not, I hope, lead you into a belief that I am desirous of

breaking off the match. To postpone it is all I have in view; for I shall recommend to the young gentleman, with the warmth that becomes a man of honor, to consider himself as much engaged to your daughter, as if the indissoluble knot were tied; and as the surest means of effecting this, to apply himself closely to his studies, by which he will, in a great measure, avoid those little flirtations with other young ladies, that may, by dividing the attention, contribute not a

little to divide the affection."



THE general covenant throughout the colonies against the use of taxed tea, had operated disastrously against the interests of the East India Company, and produced an immense accumulation of the proscribed article in their warehouses. To remedy this, Lord North brought in a bill (1773), by which the company were allowed to export their teas from England to any part whatever, without paying export duty. This, by enabling them to offer their teas at a low price in the colonies would, he supposed, tempt the Americans to purchase large quantities, thus relieving the company, and at the same time benefiting the revenue by the impost duty. Confiding in the wisdom of this policy the company disgorged their warehouses, freighted several ships with tea, and sent them to various parts of the colonies. This brought matters to a crisis. One sentiment, one determination, pervaded the whole continent. Taxation was to receive its definitive blow. Whoever submitted to it was an enemy to his country. From New York and Philadelphia the ships were sent back, unladen, to London. In Charleston the tea was unloaded, and stored away in cellars and other places, where it perished. At Boston the action was still more decisive. The ships anchored in the harbor. Some small parcels of tea were brought on shore, but the sale of them was prohibited. The captains of the ships, seeing the desperate state of the case, would have made sail back for England, but they could not obtain the consent of the consignees, a clearance at the custom-house, or a passport from the governor to clear the fort. It was evident the tea was to be forced upon the people of Boston, and the principle of taxation established.

To settle the matter completely, and prove that, on a point of principle, they were not to be trifled with, a number of the inhabitants, disguised as Indians, boarded the ships in the night (18th December), broke open all the chests of tea, and emptied the contents into

the sea. This was no rash and intemperate proceeding of a mob, but the well-considered, though resoluto act of sober, respectable citizens, men of reflection, but determination. The whole was done calmly, and in perfect order; after which the actors in the scene dispersed without tumult, and returned quietly to their homes.

ET. 42.]



The general opposition of the colonies to the | responding committee, brought intelligence of principle of taxation had given great annoy- the vindictive measure of Parliament, by which ance to government, but this individual act the port of Boston was to be closed on the apconcentrated all its wrath upon Boston. Aproaching 1st of June.

bill was forthwith passed in Parliament (commonly called the Boston port bill), by which all lading and unlading of goods, wares, and merchandise, were to cease in that town and harbor, on and after the 1st of June, and the officers of the customs to be transferred to Salem.

Another law, passed soon after, altered the charter of the province, decreeing that all counsellors, judges, and magistrates, should be appointed by the crown, and hold office during the royal pleasure.

This was followed by a third, intended for the suppression of riots; and providing that any person indicted for murder, or other capital offence, committed in aiding the magistracy, might be sent by the governor to some other colony, or to Great Britain, for trial.

The letter was read in the House of Burgesses, and produced a general burst of indignation. All other business was thrown aside, and this became the sole subject of discussion. A protest against this and other recent acts of Parliament was entered upon the journal of the House, and a resolution was adopted, on the 24th of May, setting apart the 1st of June as a day of fasting, prayer, and humiliation; in which the divine interposition was to be implored, to avert the heavy calamity threatening destruction to their rights, and all the evils of civil war; and to give the people one heart and one mind in firmly opposing every injury to American liberties.

On the following morning, while the Burgesses were engaged in animated debate, they were summoned to attend Lord Dunmore in the council chamber, where he made them the following laconic speech: "Mr. Speaker, and Gentlemen of the House of Burgesses: I have in my hand a paper, published by order of your House, conceived in such terms, as reflect highly upon his majesty, and the Parliament of Great Britain, which makes it necessary for me to dissolve you, and you are dissolved accordingly."


Such was the bolt of Parliamentary wrath fulminated against the devoted town of Boston. Before it fell there was a session in May, of the Virginia House of Burgesses. The social position of Lord Dunmore had been strengthened in the province by the arrival of his lady, and a numerous family of sons and daughters. The old Virginia aristocracy had vied with each other in hospitable attentions to the family. A court circle had sprung up. As on a former occasion, the Assembly, Regulations had been drawn up by a herald, though dissolved, was not dispersed. and published officially, determining the rank members adjourned to the long room of the and precedence of civil and military officers, old Raleigh tavern, and passed resolutions, deand their wives. The aristocracy of the An-nouncing the Boston port bill as a most dancient Dominion was furbishing up its former gerous attempt to destroy the constitutional splendor. Carriages and four rolled into the liberty and rights of all North America; restreets of Williamsburg, with horses hand- commending their countrymen to desist from somely caparisoned, bringing the wealthy plant- the use, not merely of tea, but of all kinds of ers and their families to the seat of govern- East India commodities; pronouncing an attack ment. on one of the colonies, to enforce arbitrary taxes, an attack on all; and ordering the committee of correspondence to communicate with the other corresponding committees, on the expediency of appointing deputies from the several colonies of British America, to meet annually in GENERAL CONGRESS, at such place as might be deemed expedient, to deliberate on such measures as the united interests of the colonies might require.

Washington arrived in Williamsburg on the 16th, and dined with the governor on the day of his arrival, having a distinguished position in the court circle, and being still on terms of intimacy with his lordship. The House of Burgesses was opened in form, and one of its first measures was an address of congratulation to the governor, on the arrival of his lady. It was followed up by an agreement among the members to give her ladyship a splendid ball, on the 27th of the month.

All things were going on smoothly and smilingly, when a letter, received through the cor

This was the first recommendation of a General Congress by any public assembly, though it had been previously proposed in town meetings at New York and Boston. A resolution




to the same effect was passed in the Assembly | the church. Still his friendly intercourse with of Massachusetts before it was aware of the the Dunmore family was continued during the proceedings of the Virginia Legislature. The remainder of his sojourn in Williamsburg, where measure recommended met with prompt and he was detained by business until the 20th, general concurrence throughout the colonies, when he set out on his return to Mount Verand the fifth day of September next ensuing non. was fixed upon for the meeting of the first Congress, which was to be held at Philadelphia.

In the mean time the Boston port bill had been carried into effect. On the 1st of June the harbor of Boston was closed at noon, and

Notwithstanding Lord Dunmore's abrupt dis- all business ceased. The two other parliamentsolution of the House of Burgesses, the mem-ary acts altering the charter of Massachusetts bers still continued on courteous terms with were to be enforced. No public meetings, exhim, and the ball which they had decreed early cepting the annual town meetings in March and in the session in honor of Lady Dunmore, was May, were to be held without permission of celebrated on the 27th with unwavering gal- the governor. lantry.

As to Washington, widely as he differed from Lord Dunmore on important points of policy, his intimacy with him remained uninterrupted. By memorandums in his diary it appears that he dined and passed the evening at his lordship's on the 25th, the very day of the meeting at the Raleigh tavern. That he rode out with him to his farm, and breakfasted there with him on the 26th, and on the evening of the 27th attended the ball given to her ladyship. Such was the well-bred decorum that seemed to quiet the turbulence of popular excitement, without checking the full and firm expression of popular opinion.

On the 29th, two days after the ball, letters arrived from Boston giving the proceedings of a town meeting, recommending that a general league should be formed throughout the colonies suspending all trade with Great Britain. But twenty-five members of the late House of Burgesses, including Washington, were at that time remaining in Williamsburg. They held a meeting on the following day, at which Peyton Randolph presided as moderator. After some discussion it was determined to issue a printed circular, bearing their signatures, and calling a meeting of all the members of the late House of Burgesses, on the 1st of August, to take into consideration this measure of a general league. The circular recommended them, also, to collect, in the mean time, the sense of their respective counties.

Washington was still at Williamsburg on the 1st of June, the day when the port bill was to be enforced at Boston. It was ushered in by the tolling of bells, and observed by all true patriots as a day of fasting and humiliation. Washington notes in his diary that he fasted rigidly, and attended the services appointed in

General Thomas Gage had recently been appointed to the military command of Massachusetts, and the carrying out of these offensive acts. He was the same officer who, as lieutenant-colonel, had led the advance guard on the field of Braddock's defeat. Fortune had since gone well with him. Rising in the service, he had been governor of Montreal, and had succeeded Amherst in the command of the British forces on this continent. He was linked to the country also by domestic ties, having married into one of the most respectable families of New Jersey. In the various situations in which he had hitherto been placed he had won esteem, and rendered himself popular. Not much was expected from him in his present post by those who knew him well. William Smith, the historian, speaking of him to Adams, "Gage," said he, was a good-natured, peaceable, sociable man while here (in New York), but altogether unfit for a governor of Massachusetts. He will lose all the character he has acquired as a man, a gentleman, and a general, and dwindle down into a mere scribbling gov ernor-a mere Bernard or Hutchinson."

With all Gage's experience in America, he had formed a most erroneous opinion of the character of the people. "The Americans," said he to the king, "will be lions only as long as the English are lambs; " and he engaged, with five regiments, to keep Boston quiet!

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ET. 42.]



with Great Britain from the 1st of August, what end? Does it not appear as clear as the until the colony should be restored to the en- sun in its meridian brightness that there is a joyment of its chartered rights; and to re-regular, systematic plan to fix the right and nounce all dealings with those who should refuse to enter into this compact.

The very title of league and covenant had an ominous sound, and startled General Gage. He issued a proclamation, denouncing it as illegal and traitorous. Furthermore, he encamped a force of infantry and artillery on Boston Common, as if prepared to enact the lion. An alarm spread through the adjacent country. "Boston is to be blockaded! Boston is to be reduced to obedience by force or famine!" The spirit of the yeomanry was aroused. They sent in word to the inhabitants promising to come to their aid if necessary; and urging them to stand fast to the faith. Affairs were

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practice of taxation upon us? * * * * * Is not the attack upon the liberty and property of the people of Boston, before restitution of the loss to the India Company was demanded, a plain and self-evident proof of what they are aiming at? Do not the subsequent bills for depriving the Massachusetts Bay of its charter, and for transporting offenders to other colonies or to Great Britain for trial, where it is impossible, from the nature of things, that justice can be obtained, convince us that the administration is determined to stick at nothing to carry its point? Ought we not, then, to put our virtue and fortitude to the severest tests?"

The committee met accordingly to appoint

coming to a crisis. It was predicted that the new acts of Parliament would bring on "ament, with Washington' as chairman. The resmost important and decisive trial."


olutions framed at the meeting insisted, as usual, on the right of self-government, and the principle that taxation and representation were in their nature inseparable. That the various acts of Parliament for raising revenue; taking away trials by jury; ordering that persons might be tried in a different country from that in which the cause of accusation originated ; closing the port of Boston; abrogating the charter of Massachusetts Bay, &c., &c.,—were all part of a premeditated desigu and system to introduce arbitrary government into the col

SHORTLY after Washington's return to Mount Vernon, in the latter part of June, he presided as moderator at a meeting of the inhabitants of Fairfax County, wherein, after the recent acts of Parliament had been discussed, a committee was appointed, with himself as chair-onies. That the sudden and repeated dissoluman, to draw up resolutions expressive of the sentiments of the present meeting, and to report the same at a general meeting of the county, to be held in the court-house on the 18th of July.

The course that public measures were taking shocked the loyal feelings of Washington's valued friend, Bryan Fairfax, of Tarlston Hall, a younger brother of George William, who was absent in England. He was a man of liberal sentiments, but attached to the ancient rule; and, in a letter to Washington, advised a petition to the throne, which would give Parliament an opportunity to repeal the offensive acts.

tions of Assemblies whenever they presumed to examine the illegality of ministerial mandates, or deliberated on the violated rights of their constituents, were part of the same system, and calculated and intended to drive the people of the colonies to a state of desperation, and to dissolve the compact by which their ancestors bound themselves and their posterity to remain dependent on the British crown. The resolutions, furthermore, recommended the most perfect union and co-operation among the colonies; solemn covenants with respect to non-importation and non-intercourse, and a renunciation of all dealings with any colony, town, or province, that should refuse to agree to the plan adopted by the General Congress.

They also recommended a dutiful petition and remonstrance from the Congress to the

"I would heartily join you in your political sentiments," writes Washington in reply, "as far as relates to a humble and dutiful petition to the throne, provided there was the most dis-king, asserting their constitutional rights and tant hope of success. But have we not tried this already? Have we not addressed the lords, and remonstrated to the commons? And to

privileges; lamenting the necessity of entering into measures that might be displeasing; declaring their attachment to his person, family,



and government, and their desire to continue in dependence upon Great Britain; beseeching him not to reduce his faithful subjects of America to desperation, and to reflect, that from our sovereign there can be but one appeal. These resolutions are the more worthy of note, as expressive of the opinions and feelings of Washington at this eventful time, if not being entirely dictated by him. The last sentence is of awful import, suggesting the possibility of being driven to an appeal to arms.

Bryan Fairfax, who was aware of their purport, addressed a long letter to Washington, on the 17th of July, the day preceding that in which they were to be reported by the committee, stating his objections to several of them, and requesting that his letter might be publicly read. The letter was not received until after the committee had gone to the court-house on the 18th, with the resolutions revised, corrected, and ready to be reported. Washington glanced over the letter hastily, and handed it round to several of the gentlemen present. They, with one exception, advised that it should not be publicly read, as it was not likely to make any converts, and was repugnant, as some thought, to every principle they were contending for. Washington forbore, therefore, to give it any further publicity.


"The conduct of the Boston people could not justify the rigor of their measures, unless there had been a requisition of payment, and refusal of it; nor did that conduct require an act to deprive the government of Massachusetts Bay of their charter, or to exempt offenders from trial in the places where offences were committed, as there was not, nor could there be, a single instance produced to manifest the necessity of it. Are not all these things evident proofs of a fixed and uniform plan to tax us? If we want further proofs, do not all the debates in the House of Commons serve to confirm this? conduct since his arrival, in stopping the address of his council, and publishing a proclamation, more becoming a Turkish bashaw than an English governor, declaring it treason to associate in any manner by which the commerce of Great Britain is to be affected,—has not this exhibited an unexampled testimony of the most despotic system of tyranny that ever was practised in a free government?"

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And has not General Gage's

condemned a suggestion that remittances to
England should be withheld.
"While we are
accusing others of injustice," said he, "we
should be just ourselves; and how this can be
whilst we owe a considerable debt, and refuse
payment of it to Great Britain, is to me incon-
ceivable: nothing but the last extremity can
justify it."

The popular measure on which Washington laid the greatest stress as a means of obtaining redress from government, was the non-importation scheme; "for I am convinced," said he, as much as of my existence, that there is no relief for us but in their distress; and I think The resolutions reported by the committee at least I hope that there is public virtue were adopted, and Washington was chosen a enough left among us to deny ourselves every delegate to represent the county at the General thing but the bare necessaries of life to accomConvention of the province, to be held at Wil-plish this end." At the same time he forcibly liamsburg on the 1st of August. After the meeting had adjourned, he felt doubtful whether Fairfax might not be dissatisfied that his letter had not been read, as he requested, to the county at large; he wrote to him, therefore, explaining the circumstances which prevented it; at the same time replying to some of the objections which Fairfax had made to certain of the resolutions. He reiterated his belief On the 1st of August, the convention of that an appeal would be ineffectual. "What representatives from all parts of Virginia asis it we are contending against?" asked he; sembled at Williamsburg. Washington ap"Is it against paying the duty of threepence peared on behalf of Fairfax County, and preper pound on tea because burdensome? No, sented the resolutions already cited, as the it is the right only, that we have all along dis- sense of his constituents. He is said, by one puted; and to this end, we have already pe- who was present, to have spoken in support of titioned his majesty in as humble and dutiful a them in a strain of uncommon eloquence, which manner as subjects could do. Nay, more, we shows how his latent ardor had been excited applied to the House of Lords and House of on the occasion, as eloquence was not in genCommons in their different legislative capaci-eral among his attributes. It is evident, howties, setting forth that, as Englishmen, we ever, that he was roused to an unusual pitch could not be deprived of this essential and val- of enthusiasm, for he is said to have declared uable part of our constitution. *that he was ready to raise one thousand men,



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