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The Text of the LetterEdit
The circular letter itself began with its most important point: that the colonies needed to stand together: “The representatives of the several assemblies, upon so delicate a point, should harmonize with each other”
The letter was very specifically about taxation without representation, but also argued that the colonists could never be properly represented in Parliament, so Parliament should not levy taxes on the colonies.
The Parliament, that the Acts made there, imposing duties on the people of this province, with the sole and express purpose of raising a revenue, are infringements of their natural and constitutional rights; because, as they are not represented in the British Parliament, his Majesty's commons in Britain, by those Acts, grant their property without their consent.
The letter stated that the colonists could not “by any possibility” be represented in Parliament because they are separated by the ocean, and therefore they never will be. The letter argues that the purpose of the Massachusetts Assembly is to be a “subordinate legislature“ affording the colonists their right to representation in government.
This House think that a taxation of their constituents, even without their consent, grievous as it is, would be preferable to any representation that could be admitted for them there… This House further are of opinion that their constituents, considering their local circumstances, cannot, by any possibility, be represented in the Parliament; and that it will forever be impracticable, that they should be equally represented there, and consequently, not at all; being separated by an ocean of a thousand leagues.
In the closing of the letter, the language is deferent and conciliatory. These are the sentiments and proceedings of this House; and as they have too much reason to believe that the enemies of the colonies have represented them to his Majesty's ministers, and to the Parliament, as factious, disloyal, and having a disposition to make themselves independent of the mother country, they have taken occasion, in the most humble terms, to assure his Majesty, and his ministers, that, with regard to the people of this province, and, as they doubt not, of all the colonies, the charge is unjust.
The 92 AntirescindersEdit