From the (London) Publick Ledger

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FROM THE (LONDON) PUBLICK LEDGER.

TO LORD NORTH.

The Minister whose mind can remain in a quiescent state whilst surrounding calamities threaten ruin to his country, is beyond redemption lost to those virtuous feelings which should characterize our species.

There is a period when the people should resist, because the laws of nature and of God would justify resistance. There is also a crisis when a state of neutrality would be downright meanness; and not to be active would be the very worst of crimes. At a crisis of this kind, my Lord, we are now arrived. Without hyperbole, it may be pronounced that, on the measures pursued with respect to America, the welfare of Great Britain ultimately depends. All men, therefore, being interested in the event of those measures, every man should take a decided part by delivering an opinion on their rectitude or impropriety. Our political Sun seems setting in the West, and unless some leader of the people, aided by Providence, should, like another Joshua, arrest it in its swift declension, the cheering ray of national prosperity will be forever vanished from our Island.

Various have been the Parliamentary arguments; as various have been the opinions of Parliamentary leaders on American affairs; the question of Right hath agitated one, the question of Propriety another, class of disputants. But remarkable it is, my Lord, that, amidst the dissimilar exercitations of judgment, nothing like a plan for adjusting the affairs of the Colonies hath been struck out. The present measures have deservedly undergone the severity of reprehension, though a system less exceptionable hath not hitherto been offered in their stead. It is to supply this defect that I have ventured to suggest a mode which, if adopted, will mutually reconcile Great Britain and the Colonies, re-invigorate American Commerce, and establish a lasting harmony on so permanent a basis that the authority of Parliament and the rights of the Colonists shall henceforth coalesce without conflicting struggles, and ever after, like righteousness and peace, shall salute each other with a kiss of perfect amity.

It is a concomitant inseparable from a projector, to doat even on the foulest excrescence of his brain. Not quite so partial, though by no means indifferent to my mental offspring, I give it to your Lordship with all the fond solicitude of a parent, and only request you to cherish it for the benefit of my country. Many a worse favoured foetus has been nurtured at St˙ James' s; and if common fame speaks true, some of the bantlings of which your Lordship

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is the reputed father, are infinitely more deformed than the foundling I now shall drop at your Ministerial portal.

To quit the figurative style and descend to the unentertaining language of politicks; the one has more of the pleasing, the other of the useful.

In propounding a system of measures to be pursued with the Colonies, I shall wave all disputes about Charters. — The question now, as I conceive the matter, respects not a mere speculative theory, but a practical system. We are not searching after a fanciful compact, which, like a mathematical point, is a something undefinable. Abstract reasoning, where immediate decision is necessary, is a mere waste of time, a display of faculties, wherein acuteness too often employs itself in confounding the order of nature and annihilating all distinctions between right and wrong.

As the difference between the mother country and her Colonies hath originated from an exercise of unconstitutional Taxations, so can it never be expected that those differences should subside until the cause of contention be effectually removed. The short and simple question, then, is this: What method can be adopted to remove the cause of contention, without subjugating the Americans on the one hand, or impairing the supreme authority of the Legislature, by an impolitick yielding, on the other? I do conceive, my Lord, that a representation is the only mean which can in the nature of things, bring about so desirable an end; for here lies the mischief. It is a sacred truth in the law of English Jurisprudence, "that no man can be taxed who is not either virtually or actually represented." Now, if there are some hundred thousands of British subjects who entertain an opinion "that they are not either virtually or actually represented in the British Parliament," the very attempt to tax such, by doing violence to their feelings, can occasion nothing but infinite distraction to the Empire. Nor will recourse to authority, as experience has proved, contribute aught to silence clamour or remove contention. The sword may conquer, but it cannot convince. To punish men for erroneous tenets, before you convince them that the opinions they maintain are of that cast — what is this but to assume the offices of Judge, Interpreter, and Executioner? — offices never arrogantly claimed by any society of men, the members of the Inquisition, and those of the late House of Commons, excepted.

From the unanimity with which the principle that Taxation and Representation are inseparable, is adopted throughout America, I infer the absolute necessity of the latter, that the former may take place. I conceive "that the Americans, in common with other British subjects, should be Taxed, and in order to their being Taxed, they should be represented." Here then, my Lord, we meet the Colonists on their own ground; we concede to their principles; we allow the validity of their positions; and admitting thus much, I presume, with deference, that the following plan, if adopted, would answer every end that could he proposed by American Representation in the British Parliament:

PLAN OF AMERICAN REPRESENTATION.

Provinces.

Members.

Massachusetts Bay, 6
Pennsylvania, — 6
Virginia, — 6
New-York, — 6
Canada, — 6
Carolina, North & South, — 6
Maryland, — 6
Connecticut, — 6
East & West Jerseys, — 6
New-Hampshire, — 6
Nova Scotia, — 6
Georgia, — 6
East & West Florida, — 4
The Island of Jamaica, —6
Barbadoes, —6
Rhode-Island, — 4

The number of Members thus proposed to represent the Provinces corresponding exactly with the number of the Members returned to Parliament for the several Counties in England and Wales, should be chosen from amongst them. It is presumed that, besides an actual Representation of America, other constitutional benefits would, from this scheme, accrue to Great Britain. An additional weight would be thrown into the Representative scale of the Counties, which might more than equiponderate to the influence of the Boroughs.

The four Members for the City of London might represent the following Islands:

Antigua, St˙ Christopher' s, Bahama, Bermudas, Montserrat

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Nevis, the Grenadas, Newfoundland and St˙ John' s, Dominica, St˙ Vincent, Tobago.

Having sketched the outlines of the Plan of Representation, I shall offer a few Propositions relative to the mode of Election; the procedure of Members on American business, the levying Taxations, and supporting Military Establishments.

Proposition 1. The Americans throughout the several Provinces, to whom the right of Election was allowed, should ballot for such County Members as they wished to represent them.

2. Such County Members, on business appertaining to the Colonies, to have each a double vote, one as an English, the other as an American Member.

3. Summonses for the attendance of American Members to be issued a certain number of days previous to the Parliamentary discussion of any business relative to the Colonies.

4. Each American Province as well as Island, to support their own Taxations.

5. To avoid as much as possible the infringement of Charter rights, the General Assemblies or Provincial Councils shall assess the quota and point out the mode of collecting the Taxes. The mode so adjusted, and the assessment so made, to be transmitted within a specified time to the Colony Agents in London, who are forthwith to lay them before the Board of Trade for inspection and consideration, previous to their being carried into Parliament to be passed as laws.

6. That each American Province or Island, shall, as occasion requires, convey instructions to their Members; and the packets containing such instructions shall be free of postage.

7. That such Military and Civil Establishments as the British Parliament shall deem absolutely requisite for the interest and preservation of each Province, shall be supported by the respective Provinces and Islands, at their own expense, preserving this necessary caution, that the number of Revenue Officers be always few, and the Military Establishment in time of peace small, to render the burthen of Taxation as light as possible.

8. Infant Colonies to be supported by Great Britain, until judged capable of bearing the weight of Taxation.

9. In case of an Indian war, the respective Provinces and Islands throughout America shall mutually assist each other with Men and Troops, according to certain stipulations agreed on by the Parliament of Great Britain.

10. The Taxation levied and Supplies granted by each Province, shall be expended solely in the service of the Province, and appropriated to no other use whatsoever, except in cases where Great Britain shall require the aid of Sea or Land Forces for a Military expedition; then such Forces shall be marched to the utmost boundaries of such Province; and from the time of quitting the Province, or the moment of embarkation, all subsequent charges, (those for pay and recruiting excepted,) shall be defrayed by Great Britain.

Besides some such articles as these for harmonizing the American Governments, it would still, my Lord, further contribute to establish a commercial connection between Great Britain and the Colonies, on a solid basis, if a new Tariff of Trade was adjusted, and various articles in the several Acts of Navigation were either superseded, differently modified, or thoroughly amended. With your Lordship' s permission, I will state certain Commercial Proposals, to which the Americans, if reasonable, cannot object, nor Great Britain, if wise, neglect to execute.

Commercial Propositions. 1. The Looms throughout America for the manufacture of Linen or Woollen cloth, to be forthwith destroyed, and severe penalties to be levied on those convicted of erecting such Looms.

2. Foreign Cloth, Linen or Woollen, to be deemed contraband throughout America. The buyer, seller, or wearer, to incur heavy penalties.

3. Whatever Goods or Merchandise that can be manufactured in any part of the United Kingdoms, being transported to America from any foreign country, shall be deemed contraband throughout the Continent. Fines and confiscations, which shall go towards the supplies of the Province

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wherein the seizures are made, to be levied with rigidness.

4. To prevent, as much as possible, the illicit practice of Smuggling, the Province or Island detected in encouraging it, shall be liable to maintain, agreeable to a stipulation in the Tariff of Trade, whatever Military force or additional number of Revenue Officers the British Legislature shall think fit to announce.

5. Considerable premiums shall be assigned to such persons in the Provinces as rear and keep the best flocks of Spanish Sheep, whose wool shall be judged the nearest in quality to that of Spain.

6. A distribution of premiums and every national encouragement to be afforded for the growth of Indigo, for planting Vineyards of French, Spanish, and Portuguese Grapes, as well as those of the Archipelago; for planting and cultivating Mulberry Trees for the Silk Worms; for the growth of Hemp, Flax, and other commodities, which the climate of America is calculated to raise.

7. Premiums should be assigned for the erection of the best kind of Sawmills, in those forests where Oak might be prepared for the use of the English Navy.

Ships built for the American trade should have a back freight from the Government or the Merchants, that the price of timber might be as low as possible. The Sawmills used near Ostend are universally allowed to be the best constructed.

8. As the foreign Hat trade is nearly annihilated, in Great Britain, America, possessing the materials, might, with industry and encouragement, undermine almost every Nation of Europe in that branch of commerce. To accomplish this, the Colonists should be prohibited from exporting Furs, Beavers, &c˙, (unless to the United Kingdoms subject to the Crown of Great Britain.) In which case, by taking off the Drawback, the Americans might raise a manufacture that would more than amply compensate for the loss sustained in being deprived of their Looms.

9. The Duties on Rums should be considerably lessoned, and that on Brandies considerably augmented.

I have now, my Lord, submitted to the inspection of my countrymen a "Plan for Regulating the American Affairs." That it is not thoroughly digested, I admit; that it is wholly undeserving of notice, I cannot be made to believe. You, no question, have superiour lights, whilst ordinary men have scarce a glimmering to guide them through the labyrinth of politicks; yet, my Lord, with all these lights, of what complexion are your measures? Is there any thing like system in your conduct, unless tyranny be deserving of the name? Where is that superiour skill; where that penetrating sagacity which takes in the whole of things, and from an intimate acquaintance with the vast machine of state, perceives when a single movement is out of order, and adjusts it with such precision as immediately to restore the corresponding harmony? Endowments of this kind are necessary in a Minister. Are they to be found in the catalogue of your Lordship' s qualities? You are gifted, indeed, but then it is with arithmetick powers; and whilst we wonder at your elevation to the post of Prime Minister, we deplore that your expertness in the science of numbers should be lost to the community! You would keep a numerical register with exactness; you make dreadful blunders when reckoning on the virtue, the spirit, or abilities of the Colonists! They are above your strength to compute, your capacity to comprehend.

In the behalf, then, of Commerce and of Liberty; in behalf of the English Nation, let me conjure you to desist from measures destructive to the Empire; let the Americans be heard in their Provincial Assemblies; let them state their Grievances, and propose their conditions; and, as an earnest of future justice, let the Port of Boston be instantly opened until some system affording but a prospect of reconciliation can be devised. But, my Lord, on no account venture to push matters to extremity; the baneful influence of your measures is already felt in the miseries of the times; if those miseries continue, an insulted people may grow furious with exasperation; they may cast aside restraint and mindful only of their Saviour' s admonition: "those who have no swords may part with their garments for the purchase;" the love of liberty shall animate them

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to wield; the arm of Omnipotence will successfully direct their points to the breasts of those who aim only at the establishment of despotism in Great Britain and her Colonies.

SAMUEL, CLAY HARVEY.

King street, Soho.