History of the United States of America, from the Discovery of the Continent - Vol. 4

By George Bancroft | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII.
PARLIAMENT DECLARES MASSACHUSETTS IN REBELLION.
JANUARY–FEBRUARY 1775.

NEITHER the king nor his ministers believed the hearty union of so vast a region as America possible. But, at the one extreme, New Hampshire in convention unanimously adhered to the recent congress, and elected delegates to the next. At the other, South Carolina, on the eleventh of January 1775, held a general meeting, which was soon resolved into a provincial congress, with Charles Pinckney for president. The deputies to the general congress were then called upon to explain why they had not included in the list of grievances the entire series of monopolies and restrictions; and they murmured at the moderation of Virginia, which had refused to look further back than 1763. But South Carolina wisely adopted the continental measures without change, completed her own internal organization, elected delegates to the general congress, encouraged her inhabitants to learn the use of arms, and asked their prayers that God would defend their just title to freedom, and “avert the impending calamities of civil war.” If blood should be spilled in Massachusetts, her sons were to rise in arms.

On the twelfth, the representatives of the extensive district of Darien, in Georgia, assembling in a local congress, held up the conduct of Massachusetts to the imitation of mankind, joined in the resolutions of the grand American congress, and instructed their delegates to the provincial congress accordingly. They demanded liberal land laws to attract the distressed in Britain and “the poor of every nation.” “To show

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