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not well produce any other results than such as those which followed, and which are familiarly known as a part of the general history of the country. Virginia, though prominent in resistance to the stamp act, seems to have been treated with less severity than some of the other colonies. This is attributed, by Mr. Wirt, to the personal character of the Virginian governors, Fauquier and Botetourt, who are represented as having endeavored to maintain, as far as possible, a good understanding between the parties; while it seems to have been the object of the Bernards and Hutchinsons, of the eastern states, to envenom existing animosities, and push them as rapidly as possible to extremities. The greater consideration, which was extended by the mother country to the colony of Virginia, tended probably to diminish a little, on her side, the activity of opposition.

On the repeal of the stamp act, the Assembly, as remarked above, adopted resolutions of a highly loyal character; and it does not appear that any new proceedings took place in reference to the relations with the mother country until the session of 1768-9. On the last day of that session, a series of resolutions was adopted, asserting in emphatic terms the right of the colony to be exempt from all taxes excepting such as might be imposed by her own legislature, and remonstrating vigorously against the recent acts of the British government.

The result of this measure was an immediate dissolution of the House of Assembly by the governor. The members were all reëlected, and returned with augmented ardor to the post of duty. The next step, in the course of resistance to the arbitrary pretensions of the ministry, was the adoption by the Assembly of a series of resolutions, moved by Dabney Carr, and providing for the appointment of a committee of the legislature to correspond with the legislatures of the other colonies. The measure was moved in committee of the whole on the 12th of March, 1773, and was the first movement made in any part of the country towards a concert of action between the colonies.

Henry had constantly been a member of the House from the time of his first election, and took, no doubt, an active part on both these occasions, although no particular account has been preserved of his course in regard to the resolutions of 1768-9. He supported those of Mr. Carr in a powerful speech, and was appointed a member of the Committee of Correspondence. He seems, at this time, to have become somewhat more studious, in regard to the decorum of his external appearance, than he had formerly been; and is described by one who was present at the debate on Carr's resolutions as wearing a peach-blossom-colored coat, and dark wig, terminating in a bag, according to the fashion of that day. He was now in full practice at the bar, and was particularly conspicuous in the defence of criminal cases, where he shone without a rival. In civil actions, involving the technical book learning of the profession, he was still unable to cope on equal terms with the leading barristers, and only recovered his advantage, and displayed his full strength, when the question was of such a nature that he was at liberty to appeal to the great principles of natural justice.

But events of high importance were now succeeding each other with a rapidity, which left to those who took an active part in political affairs but little leisure for professional pursuits or private business of any description. The attempt to enforce the new duty on tea was met by the destruction of the first cargo that arrived at Boston, while yet on board the ship in which it came.

In retribution for this act of summary justice, the British government withdrew from that town its privileges as a port of entry, by the law commonly called the Boston Port Bill. The situation of Boston under this infliction called forth public expressions of the warmest sympathy from various quarters. The Virginia legislature

and prayer.

was in session at the time when intelligence of the enactment of the Boston Port Bill reached this country. The bill was to take effect on the first of June, 1774. The Assembly immediately passed an order setting apart that day to be observed as a season of public fasting, humiliation,

In consequence of this order, Governor Dunmore on the following day dissolved the House. The members forthwith repaired to the Raleigh tavern, and, after deliberating on the course which it was proper to pursue under existing circumstances, unanimously adopted an Association, which contained a proposal for the meeting of a General Congress.

In pursuance of these proceedings, delegates were elected shortly after by the several counties, to meet, on the 1st of August following, for the purpose of considering further of the state of public affairs, and particularly of appointing deputies to the General Congress. The delegates accordingly assembled at Williamsburg, at the appointed time, and proceeded to transact the business committed to them. They adopted resolutions, in which they pledge themselves to make common cause with Boston at all hazards, and to suspend all commercial intercourse with Great Britain, until the existing difficulties should be adjusted. As deputies to the General Congress they designated Peyton Randolph, Richard Henry Lee, George Washington, Patrick Henry, Richard Bland, Benjamin Harrison, and Edmund Pendleton. The president of the Convention, Peyton Randolph, was authorized to call another meeting, if occasion should require.

Notwithstanding the lengths to which the controversy with the mother country had now proceeded, and the bitterness of feeling which had been generated by it, the idea of complete independence was still admitted with reluctance by the greater part of even the more active patriots, and had not become familiar to the people at large. A few persons only, of deeper thought and a keener foresight into future events than the rest, already perceived that this result was inevitable. Patrick Henry was one of the number, and Mr. Wirt has recorded a very interesting conversation that occurred about this time, in which Henry developed his views, with his characteristic boldness, and with almost prophetic sagacity; the substance of which is here related.

The conversation was held at the house of Colonel Samuel Overton, who, in the presence of several other gentlemen, inquired of Henry whether he supposed that Great Britain would drive her colonies to extremities; and, if so, what

, would be the issue of the war. “ Sir,” said Henry in reply, after looking round the company

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