Page:History of the United States of America, Spencer, v1.djvu/298

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
274
[Bk. II
APPENDIX TO CHAPTER X.

an authentic copy of this resolution, which I presented to Mr. Grenville before he brought in the Stamp Act. I asserted in the House of Commons (Mr. Grenville being present) that I had done so, and he did not deny it. Other colonies made similar resolutions. And had Mr. Grenville, instead of that act, applied to the king in council for such requisitional letters to be circulated by the secretary of state, I am sure he would have obtained more money from the colonies by their voluntary grants, than he himself expected from his stamps. But he chose compulsion rather than persuasion, and would not receive from their good-will what he thought he could obtain without it. And thus the golden bridge which the ingenious author thinks the Americans unwisely and unbecomingly refused to hold out to the minister and Parliament, was actually held out to them, but they refused to walk over it. This is the true history of that transaction; and as it is probable there may be another edition of that excellent pamphlet, I wish this may be communicated to the candid author, who I doubt not will correct that error.

I am ever, with sincere esteem, dear sir, your most obedient, humble servant,

B. FRANKLIN.




II.—THE STAMP ACT.

Whereas, by an act made in the last session of Parliament, several duties were granted, continued, and appropriated towards defraying the expenses of defending, protecting, and securing the British colonies and plantations in America; and whereas it is first necessary, that provision be made for raising a further revenue within your majesty's dominions in America, towards defraying the said expenses; we, your majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons of Great Britain, in Parliament assembled, have therefore resolved to give and grant unto your majesty the several rights and duties hereinafter mentioned; and do most humbly beseech your majesty that it may be enacted, And be it enacted by the king's most excellent majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, That from and after the first day of November, one thousand seven hundred and sixty-five, there shall be raised, levied, collected, and paid unto his majesty, his heirs and successors, throughout the colonies and plantations in America, which now are, or hereafter may be, under the dominion of his majesty, his heirs and successors,

1. For every skin of vellum or parchment, or sheet or piece of paper, on which shall be engrossed, written, or printed, any declaration, plea, replication, rejoinder, demurrer, or other pleading, or any copy thereof, in any court of law within the British colonies and plantations in America, a stamp duty of three pence.

2. For every skin or piece of vellum or parchment, or sheet or piece of paper, on which shall be engrossed, written or printed, any special bail, and appearance upon such bail in any such court, a stamp duty of two shillings.

3. For every skin or piece of vellum or parchment, or sheet or piece of paper, on which may be engrossed, written or printed, any petition, bill or answer, claim, plea, replication, rejoinder, demurrer, or other pleading in any court of chancery or equity within the said colonies and plantations, a stamp duty of one shilling and sixpence.

4. For every skin or piece of vellum or parchment, or sheet or piece of paper, on which shall be engrossed, written or printed, any copy of any petition, bill, answer, claim, plea, replication, rejoinder, demurrer, or other pleading, in any such court, a stamp duty of three pence.

5. For every skin or piece of vellum or parchment, or sheet or piece of paper, on which shall be engrossed, written or printed, any monition, libel, answer, allegation, inventory, or renunciation in ecclesiastical matters, in any court of probate, court of the ordinary, or other court exercising ecclesiastical jurisdiction within the said colonies and plantations, a stamp duty of one shilling.

6. For every skin or piece of vellum or parchment, or sheet or piece of paper, on which shall be engrossed, written or printed, any copy of any will, (other than the probate thereof,) monition, libel, answer, allegation, inventory, or renunciation, in ecclesiastical matters, in any such court, a stamp duty of sixpence.

7. For every skin or piece of vellum or parchment, or sheet or piece of paper, on which shall be engrossed, written or printed, any donation,