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Johnson, William S. (1727-1819) to Jabez Huntington

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05657 Author/Creator: Johnson, William S. (1727-1819) Place Written: London, England Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 26 September 1768 Pagination: 3 p. : docket ; 22.5 x 18.5 cm.

Summary of Content: Hopes to return from London after the conclusion of the Mohegan Case. Reports on the "Temper of the New Parliament" in regard to the Stamp Act and other legislation affecting the American colonies. Johnson lived in London from 1767 to 1771, while serving as Connecticut's agent in its attempt to settle the colony's title to Indian lands.

Full Transcript: … The solicitude you express to know what Tempter the New Parliament will discover towards America, is well founded; it will certainly be of very great Importance to you us, & I ...wish I could give you any just Intelligence upon so Interesting a Subject; but we are here much at a loss to Conjecture how they will take the matter up. Nothing could be discover'd with regard to his matter, in their short Sessions, last Spring, which served only to form the House, & not being intended for the dispatch of business, they did not open their Sentiments upon any material subject - What fall from the Ministers upon this subject (who are however very close) seems enough against us. They, as well as People in general, have been Irriated by the late disturbances at Boston, & rashly Imparte [sic] to the Colonies a rebellious Spirit, never to be satisfied while they have any dependence upon this Country - They pretend to Imagine, that they man to gain on point after another up on the Legislature, till at length they have discharged themselves of the Act of Navigation, & as its Consequences, which they esteem here absolutely essential to the Supremacy of this Country, & the weal of the whole Empire; Thence they infer that it is necessary that they make a stand somewhere, & that the sooner they do it the better - They have no fondness for the late Duty Act, & would willingly enough have repeal'd it, had we been quite quiet & assured it upon the ground only of inexpediency, the Poverty of the colonies &c but when the Right of Parliament, which was so expressly Declared at the repeat of the Stamp Act, is totally denied & disavowed, they cannot, they allege, either in Honour or Policy give it up. Would the Colonies, say they, ever wave this point, or be silent upon it, perhaps we might be so too, repeal the Act for our own Reasons, & let the Controversy drop, but while you deny this Right or dispate [sic] it, we shall certainly maintain it. They particularly dislike the Principles & Stile [sic] of the Massachusetts and Virginia Petitions; what reception the others will meet with we know not …See More

People: Johnson, William Samuel, 1727-1819
Huntington, Jabez, 1719-1786

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: American Indian HistoryGlobal History and CivicsForeign AffairsStamp ActTaxes or TaxationGovernment and CivicsLaw

Sub Era: Road to Revolution

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