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The Conciliatory Bill

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol II. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

May 20.—A Correspondent writes as follows: The conciliatory bill is not founded on any secret negotiation whatever. The noble person who introduced it1 formed it upon the state of the nation, and the situation of the times. Though the resources of war are far from being impossible to be got, there would be no prudence in squandering millions on the mere punctilio of a right to tax a country incapable of furnishing a revenue adequate to the expense of the force necessary to raise it. Besides, how can war go on with spirit or success, when the wheels of executive government are clogged by the opposition. By taking their ground, the minister has defeated their views, and has left America without excuse, should she refuse to listen to the offers of the representatives of the nation. The acts, however, though breathing peace, are not meant to suspend war. On the contrary, every nerve of the state is to be exerted, in order to force an acquiescence to the terms proposed. Should the Americans continue obstinate, a time is limited for the expiration of offers, which are, perhaps, too favorable to rebels, and then they must abide by such terms as the clemency of the victors shall bestow on the vanquished.2


1 Lord North.
2 Rivington’s Gazette, May 30.