THE STAMP ACT LEADS AMERICA TO UNION. ADMINISTRATION
THE cry was the harbinger of an American congress. The delegates of South Carolina—Gadsden, who never practiced disguise; the upright and eloquent John Rutledge; Lynch, who combined good sense, patriotism, and honesty with conciseness of speech and dignity of manner—arrived first at its place of meeting. In New Jersey, where the lawyers were resolved to forego all business rather than purchase a stamp, a little delay in the organization of its house of representatives gave them time to imitate the example of Delaware.
While they were waiting, on the third day of October, the last stamp officer north of the Potomac, the stubborn John Hughes, a Quaker of Philadelphia, as he lay ill in his house, heard the beating of muffled drums through the city, the ringing of the muffled state house bell, and the trampling feet of the people assembling to demand his resignation. His illness obtained for him some forbearance; but his written promise was extorted not to do anything that should have the least tendency to put the stamp act into execution in Pennsylvania or Delaware; and he announced to the governor his “resignation.” “If Great Britain can or will suffer such conduct to pass unpunished,” thus he wrote to the commissioners of stamps, “a man need not be a prophet, nor the son of a prophet, to see clearly that her empire in North America is at an end.”
On Monday, the seventh of October, delegates chosen by the house of representatives of Massachusetts, Rhode Island,