Monday, February 13, 2012

The King and His Ministers

On February 14, 1776, Congressmen John Penn wrote to Thomas Person, "From a newspaper printed in Ireland which arrived here today I find that the Parliament there have agreed that 4,000 Troops there should be imployed against America, and to receive the like number of Hanoverians in their room."

While many German mercenaries were Hessians (from Hesse-Cassel), some were mercenaries hired from Hanover.  The Irish Parliament agreed to send troops to America if German mercenaries replaced the (British) troops in Ireland.

Penn wrote, "It also appear that Lord North had moved to bring in a bill to repeal the Boston Port act...but to license his Matys armed Vessels to seize the American Ships where ever bound and to make prizes of them and their cargoes.  There were 190 odd for the motion 60 against it.  It appears that the King and his ministers are determined if possible to subjugate us to the control of a British Parliament."

British policy served to radicalize American opinion.  Also writing on Feb. 14, John Adams informed James Warren, "Scarcely a Paper comes out, without a Speculation or two in open Vindication of opinions, which Five Months ago were said to be unpopular."

Paul H. Smith, et al., editors, Letters of Delegates to Congress: Vol. 3: January 1, 1776-May 15, 1776 (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1978), 253, 255-256.
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