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northern colonies, but what they can either do without, or make themselves.
Q. Don't you think cloth from England absolutely necessary to them?
A. No, by no means absolutely necessary; with industry and good management, they may very well supply themselves with all they want.
Q. Will it not take a long time to establish that mapufacture among them; and must they not in the mean while suffer greatly?
A. I think not. They have made a surprising progress already. And I am of opinion, that before their old clothes are worn out, they will have new ones of their own making.
Q. Can they possibly find wool enough in North America ?
A. They have taken steps to increase the wool. They entered into general combinations to eat no more lamb; and very few lambs were killed last year. This course, persisted in, will soon make a prodigious difference in the quantity of wool. And the establishing of great manufactories, like those in the clothing towns here, is not necessary, as it is where the business is to be carried on for the purposes of trade. The people will all spin, and work for themselves, in their own houses.
Q. Can there be wool and manufacture enough in one or two years?"
A. In three years, I think there may.
Q. Does not the severity of the winter, in the northern colonies, occasion the wool to be of bad quality? A. No, the wool is very fine and good.
Q. In the more southern colonies, as in Virginia, don't you know, that the wool is coarse, and only a kind of hair?
A. I don't know it. I never heard it. Yet I have been sometimes in Virginia. I cannot say I ever took particular notice of the wool there, but I believe it is good, though I cannot speak positively of it; but Virginia, and the colonies south of it, have less occasion for wool; their winters are short, and not very severe; and they can very well clothe themselves with linen and cotton of their own raising for the rest of the year.
Q. Are not the people in the more northern colonies obliged to fodder their sheep all the winter?
A. In some of the most northern colonies they may be obliged to do it, some part of the winter.
Q. Considering the resolutions of parliament*, as to the right; do you think, if the stamp act is repealed, that the North Americans will be satisfied
A. I believe they will.
A. I think the resolutions of right will give them very little concern, if they are never attempted to be carried into practice. The colonies will probably consider themselves in the same situation, in that respect, with Ireland: they know you claim the same right with regard to Ireland, but you never exercise it. And they may believe you never will exercise it in the colonies, any more than in Ireland, unless on some very extraordinary occasion.
* Afterwards expressed in the Declaratory-Act. B. V. S 3
Q. But who are to be the judges of that extraordinary occasion ? Is not the parliament?
A. Though the parliament may judge of the occasion, the people will think it can never exercise such right, till representatives from the colonies are admitted into parliament; and that, whenever the occasion arises, representatives will be ordered.
Q. Did you never hear that Maryland, during the last war, had refused to furnish a quota towards the common defence?
A. Maryland has been much misrepresented in that matter. Maryland, to my knowledge, never refused to contribute, or grant aids to the crown. The assemblies, every year during the war, voted considerable sums, and formed bills to raise them. The bills were, according to the constitution of that province, sent up to the council, or upper house, for concurrence, that they might be presented to the governor, in order to be enacted into laws. Unhappy disputes between the two houses-arising from the defects of that constitution principally-rendered all the bills but one or two abortive. The proprietary's council rejected them. It is true, Maryland did contribute its proportion; but it
my opinion, the fault of the government, not of the people.
Q. Was it not talked of in the other provinces as a proper measure, to apply to parliament to compel them?
A. I have heard such discourse; 'but as it was well known, that the people were not to blame, no such application was ever made, nor any step taken towards it.
Q. Was it not proposed at a public meeting?
Q. Do you remember the abolishing of the papercurrency in New England, by act of assembly?
A. I do remember its being abolished in the Massac chusett's Bay.
Q. Was not lieutenant-governor Hutchinson principally concerned in that transaction?
A. I have heard so.
A. I believe it might, though I can say little about it, as I lived at a distance from that province.
Q. Was not the scarcity of gold and silver an argument used against abolishing the paper ?
A. I suppose it was *.
Q. What is the present opinion there of that law? Is it as unpopular as it was at first?
A. I think it is not.
Q. Have not instructions from hence been sometimes sent over to governors, highly oppressive and unpolitical?
Q. Have not some governors dispensed with them for that reason?
A. Yes, I have heard so.
Q. Did the Americans ever dispute the controling power of parliament to regulate the conmerce?
Q. Can any thing less than a military force carry the stamp act into execution?
4. I do not see how a military force can be applied to that purpose.
Q. Why may it not?
* See the answer to the report of the board of trade,
144. B. v. s 4
A. Suppose a military force sent into America, they will find nobody in arms; what are they then to do? They cannot force a man to take stamps who chooses to do without them. They will not find a rebellion : they may indeed make one.
Q. If the act is not repealed, what do you think will be the consequences?
A. A total loss of the respect and affection the people of America bear to this country, and of all the commerce that depends on that respect and affection.
Q. How can the commerce be affected ?
A. You will find, that if the act is not repealed, they will take very little of your manufactures in a short time.
Q. Is it in their power to do without them?
A. The goods they take from Britain are either necessaries, mere conveniences, or superfluities. The first, as cloth, &c. with a little industry they can make at home; the second they can do without, till they are able to provide them among themselves; and the last, which are much the greatest part, they will strike off immediately. They are mere articles of fashion, purchased and consumed, because the fashion in a respecied country; but will now be detested and rejected, The people have already struck off, by general agree-, ment, the use of all goods fashionable in mournings, and many thousand pounds worth are sent back as unsaleable.
Q. Is it their interest to make cloth at home?
A. I think they may at present get it cheaper from Britain, I mean of the same fineness and neatness of