HOW BRITAIN BEGAN CATHOLIC EMANCIPATION, AND HOW VIR-
GINIA NULLIFIED THE QUEBEC ACT.
THE congress of 1774 contained statesmen of the highest order of wisdom. For eloquence, Patrick Henry was unrivalled; next to him in debate stood the elder Rutledge, of South Carolina; “but, if you speak of solid information and sound judgment,” said Patrick Henry, “Washington is unquestionably the greatest man of them all.”
While the delegates of the twelve colonies were in session in Philadelphia, ninety of the members just elected to the Massachusetts assembly appeared on Wednesday, the fifth of October, at the court-house in Salem. After waiting two days for the governor, they passed judgment on his unconstitutional proclamation against their meeting; and, resolving themselves into a provincial congress, they adjourned to Concord. There, on the eleventh, the members, about two hundred and sixty in number, elected John Hancock their president. On the fourteenth, they sent a message to the governor, that for want of a general assembly they had convened in congress; and they remonstrated against his hostile preparations. A committee from Worcester county made to him similar representations.
To the provincial congress, which had again adjourned from Concord to Cambridge, Gage made answer by recriminations. They were surrounded by difficulties. A committee, appointed on the twenty-fourth of October to consider the proper time to provide a stock of powder, ordnance, and ordnance stores, reported on the same day that the proper time was come. Upon the debate for raising money to prepare