From a Farmer in Pennsylvania, to the
inhabitants of the British colonies.

Beloved Countrymen,

I am a farmer, settled after a variety
of fortunes, near the banks, of the ri-
ver Delaware, in the province of Penn-
sylvania. I received a liberal education,
and have been engaged in the busy scenes
of life: But am now convinced, that a
man may be as happy without bustle, as
with it. My farm is small, my servants
are few, and good; I have a little money
at interest; I wish for no more; my em-
ployment in my own affairs is easy; and
and with a contented grateful mind, I
am compleating the number of days al-
lotted to me by divine goodness.

Being master of my time, I spend a
good deal of it in a library, which I think
the most valuable part of my finall estate,
being acquainted with two or three gen-
tlemen of abilities and learning, who
honour me with their friendship, I be-
lieve I have acquired a greater share of
knowledge in history, and the laws and
constitution of my country, than is ge-
nerally attained by men of my class, ma-
ny of them not being so fortunate as
I have been in the opportunities of get-
ing information.

From infancy I was taught to love hu-
manity and liberty. Inquiry and experi-
ence have since confirmed my reverence
for the lessons then given me, by con-
vincing me more fully of their truth and
excellence. Benevolence towards man-
kind excites wishes for their welfare, and
such wishes endear the means of fulfiling
them. Those can be found in liberty a-
lone, and therefore her sacred cause
ought to be espoused by every man, on e-
very occasion, to the utmost of his pow-
er: as a charitable but poor person does
not withold his mite, because he cannot
relieve all the distresses of the miserable,
so let not any honest man suppress his
sentiments concerning freedom, however
small their influence is likely to be. Per-
haps he may "[Dagger reference mark indicates note below.] touch some wheel" that
will have an effect greater than he expects.

These being my sentiments, I am en-
couraged to offer to you, my country-
men, my thoughts on some late transac-
tions, that in my opinion are of the ut-
most importance to you. Conscious of
my defects, I have waited some time, in
expectation of seeing the subject treated

[Dagger reference mark:] Pope.

by persons much better qualified for the
task; but being therein disappointed, and
apprehensive that longer delays will be
injurious, I venture at length to request
the attention of the public, praying only
for one thing, -- that is, that these lines
may be read with the same zeal for the
happiness of British America, with which
they were wrote.

With a good deal of surprise I have
observed, that little notice has been ta-
ken of any act of Parliament as injuri-
ous in its principle to the liberties of
these colonies, as the stamp-act was: I
mean the act for suspending the legislati-
on of New-York.

The assembly of that government com-
plied with a former act of parliament,
requiring certain provisions to be made
for the troops in America, in every par-
ticular, I think, except the articles of
salt, pepper, and vinegar. In my opini-
on they acted imprudently, considering
all circumstances, in not complying so
far, as would have given satisfaction, as
several colonies did: but my dislike of
their conduct in that instance, has not
blinded me so much, that I cannot plainly
perceive, that they have been punished in
a manner pernicious to American freedom,
and justly alarming to all the colonies.

If the British parliament has a legal
authority to order, that we shall furnish a
single article for the troops here, and to
compel obedience to that order; they
have the same right to order us to supply
those troops with arms, cloaths, and e-
very necessary, and to compel obedience
to that order also; in short, to lay any
burdens they please upon us. What is
this but taxing us at a certain sum, and
leaving to us only the manner of raising
it? How is this mode more tolerable than
the stamp-act? Would that act have ap
peared more pleasing to Americans, if
being ordered thereby to raise the sum
total of the taxes, the mighty privilege
had been left to them, of saying how
much should be paid for an instrument
of writing on paper, and how much for
another on parchment.

An act of parliament commanding us
to do a certain thing, if it has any vali-
dity, is a tax upon us for the expence
that accrues in complying with it, and
for this reason, I believe, every colony
on the continent, that chose to give a
mark of respect for Great-Britain, in com-
plying with the act relating to the troops,
cautiously avoid the mention of that act,
least their conduct should be attributed to
its supposed obligation.

The matter being thus stated, the as -
sembly of New-York either had, or had
not a right to refuse submission to that
act. If they had, and I imagine no A-
merican will say, they had not, then the
parliament had no right to compel them
to execute it. -- If they had not that
right, they had no right to punish them
for not executing it; and therefore had
no right to suspend their legislation,
which is a punishment. In fact, if the
people of New-York cannot be legally
taxed but by their own representa-
tives, they cannot be legally depriv-
ed of the privileges of making laws,
only for insisting on that exclusive
privilege of taxation. If they may
be legally deprived in such a case of
the privilege of making laws, why
may they not, with equal reason, be de-
prived of every other privilege? Or why
may not every colony be treated in the
same manner, when any of them shall
dare to deny their assent to any impositi-
ons that shall be directed? Or what sig-
nifies the repeal of the stamp-act, if these
colonies are to lose their other privileges,
by not tamely surrendering that of taxa-

There is one consideration arising from
this suspicion, which is not generally at-
tended to, but shews it's importance very
clearly. It was not necessary that this
suspension should be caused by an act of
parliament. The crown might have re-
strained the Governor of New-York, even
from calling the assembly together, by its
prerogative in the royal governments. --
This step, I suppose; would have been
taken, if the conduct of the assembly of
New-York, had been regarded as an act
of disobedience to the crown alone: but
it is regarded as an act of "disobedience
" to the authority of the British legisla-
" ture." This gives the suspension a
consequence vastly more affecting. It is
a parliamentary assertion of the supreme
authority of the British legislature over
these colonies in the part of taxation:
and is intended to compel New-York un-
to a submission to that authority. It
seems therefore to me as much a violati-
on of the liberty of the people of that
province, and consequently of all these
colonies, as if the parliament had sent a
number of regiments to be quartered up-
on them till they should comply. For it
is evident, that the suspension is meant as
compulsion; and the method of compel-
ling is totally indifferent. Is is indeed
probable, that the sight of red coats, and
the beating of drums would have been
most alarming, because people are gene-
rally more influenced by their eyes and
ears than by their reason: But whoever
seriously considers the matter, must per-
ceive, that a dreadful stroke is aimed at
the liberty of these colonies: For the
cause of one is the cause of all. If the
parliament may lawfully deprive New-

York of any of its rights, it may deprive
any, or all the other colonies of their
rights; and nothing can possibly so much
encourage such attempts, as a mutual in-
attention to the interest of each other.
To divide, and thus to destroy, is the first
political maxim in attacking those who
are powerful by their union He cer-
tainly is not a wise man, who folds his
arms and reposeth himself at home, seeing
with unconcern the flames that have in-
vaded his neighbour's house, without any
endeavours to extinguish them. When
Mr. Hampden's ship-money cause, for
three shillings and four pence, was tried
all the people of England, with anxi-
ous expectation, interested themselves
in the important decision; and when the
slightest point touching the freedom of
a single colony is agitated, I earnestly
wish, that all the rest may with equal
ardour support their sister. Very much
may be said on this subject, but I hope,
more at present is unnecessary

With concern I have observed that two
assemblies of this province have sat and
adjourned without taking any notice of
this act. It may perhaps be asked, what
would have been proper for them to do?
I am by no means fond of inflammatory
measures. I detest them. -- I should be
sorry that any thing should be done
which might justly displease our sove-
reign or our mother-country. But a firm,
modest exertion of a free spirit, should
never be wanting on public occasions. It
appears to me, that it would have been
sufficient for the assembly, to have order-
ed our agents to represent to the King's
ministers, their sense of the suspending
act, and and to pray for its repeal. Thus
we should have borne our testimony a-
gainst it; and might therefore reasonably
expect that on a like occasion, we might
receive the same assistance from the other

"Concordia res parvæ crescunt.
Small things grow great by concord.