Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: IN THE REVOLUTION, 1774-1783

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The period which forms the subject of this chapter is an eventful one in the history of our country -- that of the American Revolution. For ten years, the oppressions of Great Britain had tightened about her colonies, till nothing was left for them but to wrench themselves clear altogether.

The people of Hampton early caught the spirit of liberty, as is evident from their proceedings at a meeting held January 17, 1774, and, by adjournment, February 7, "for the purpose of considering the unreasonable and unconstitutional power and claims which the Parliament of Great Britain have assumed over the rights and properties of His Majesty's loyal subjects in America;" and to consult how best to counteract "every bold and wicked attempt of the enemies of the British Constitution to enforce their unjust usurpations."

Jonathan Moulton, Esq., was chosen moderator.

The sentiment of the town was very strongly expressed, that it must be evident "to Every one that is not Lost to Virtue, nor devoid of Common Sense," that if these usurpations are submitted to, they "will be totally Destructive to our natural and Constitutional Rights & Liberties, & have a direct Tendency to Reduce the Americans to a state of actual Slavery:" Therefore, "feeling that Concern & Indignation, which should animate Every honest Breast, we look upon it as our Indispensable Duty, as men, as Christians, and as Americans, Publickly to express our Sentiments & Determinations at this important & alarming Crisis."

A committee was accordingly chosen, to prepare fitting Resolves, and report at an adjourned meeting: which, being done, and the Resolves "having been distinctly Read, & with Due Deliberation considered, it was put to vote whether they should be accepted as the opinion & Determination of this Town, which passed by a very grate majority in the affirmative."

The resolves are as follows:

"Revolved, 1st, That it is Inseparably essential to the Freedom of a People, & the Inherent Right of Englishmen, in Every part of the British Dominions, that no Tax be imposed on them without the consent of themselves or their Representatives; that the local Circumstances of the People in America cannot admit of their being Represented in the Parliament of Great Britain, & therefore they are Exempt from Parliamentary Taxation.

2nd, That no Taxes can be Constitutionally imposed on the People in the Colonies but by their Respective Legislatures, & that the sole Right of imposing Taxes on the Inhabitants of this, his Majesty's Province of New Hampshire, in particular, is now, & ever hath been Legally & Constitutionally vested in the House of Assembly, Lawfully convened, with Consent of Council & his Majesty, or his Representative, the Governor, for the time being.

3d, That the Act of the British Parliament, imposing a Duty on Teas payable in America upon being Landed, is a Tax imposed on the Americans without their consent; & the Express Purpose for which that Tax is Levied has a Direct tendency to subvert our Constitution, Render our Assemblies useless, & Introduce that plan of arbitrary government which -- to Every attentive person appears -- the ministry of Great Britain are artfully endeavouring to Establish over the Americans.

4th, That a virtuous & steady opposition to Every artful measure to enforce said Act, is the most Likely method, under God, to obtain a Repeal of the same; & that it is, therefore the Duty of Every American to concur in advancing & supporting that Glorious Design.

5th, That we will, to the utmost of our Power, in Every Reasonable & Constitutional way, Endeavour to promote & Defend the Happiness & Security of America, and, if Ever necessity Requires it, we will be ready in conjunction with our oppressed American Brethren, to Risque our Lives & Interest in support of those Rights, Liberties & Privileges which our supreme Law Giver & our happy Constitution has [have] entitled us to."

At the same meeting, Philip Towle, Capt. Josiah Moulton, Amos Coffin, Esq., William Lane & Josiah Moulton 3d were chosen a committee, "to correspond with other committees in this and the neighboring governments as they may see occasion."

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