Disposition of the Biennial Act 1737 The Biennial Act of Carolina referring the biennial meeting of Assemblies & regulation of elections & members. It seems that these assemblies have powers that the Crown never gave to them. The power to convene Parliaments is the exclusive privilege of the Crown &Continue Reading

Governor Gabriel Johnston’s Request to Repeal the Biennial Act, 18 October 1736 I’m addressing your Lordships to ask you to advise His Majesty to repeal the Biennial Act, to order that no precinct send in more than 2 members, & relieve me of the task of establishing a precinct withoutContinue Reading

The Secretary of Virginia Reports of Self-Regulation Without Benefit of Legislation, 8 May 1682 Bad news, everyone, what’s been going on down in Gloucester County is putting everyone in harm’s way. They pretty much have decided that they won’t be planting any tobacco this year. The “lawmen” have been goingContinue Reading

Remonstrance of John Daniell, John Yerworth, George Heskett, John Scott, and David Brown… Ship Carpenters, 25 January 1744 Many ship builders, carpenters & inhabitants of Charlestown, SC had been able to buy black slaves. They trained those slaves in their trade. As the slaves aged & were no longer ableContinue Reading

Royal Instructions to the Governors of the Colonies Forbidding Alteration in Representation, 24 July 1767 Instructions to all governors of British colonies in the New World: Many laws have been passed in various colonies where districts have been authorized to send representatives to the local assemblies. The King requires thatContinue Reading

A Petition from Inhabitants of Philadelphia, 14 February 1752 A petition has been sent to the House to complain that while the founder of the colony intended to give every inhabitant a share in legislative government that was in the very early days of the colony. Now the colony hasContinue Reading

A Memorial of Several Aggrievances & Oppressions of his Majesty’s Subjects in the Colony of New York in America, 1750 When the enemies of our country brought our country to its knees through Catholic supremacy & arbitrary government, God put our King George on the throne. We hope that thisContinue Reading

Samuel Davies, Letter to Reverend Doctor Doddridge, 2 October 1750 The Church of England was established in the colony of Virginia from the beginning & there weren’t more than 4 or 5 dissenters within 100 miles until a few years ago. Religion was loose & not very strict in Virginia.Continue Reading

Adam Smith, “Conclusion of the Mercantile System” from “The Wealth of Nations” (Book 4, Chapter 7), 1776 The mercantile system encourages exportation but discourages importation but changes things around when it comes to commodities It claims to have the goal of enriching the empire through an advantageous balance of tradeContinue Reading

Petition of the Merchants of London to Parliament, 1751 [Note – The Currencies Act of 1751 prohibited the New England colonies from printing their own paper currency & required them to reduce what was already in the system. By 1764, this was required of all American colonies] Merchants of LondonContinue Reading

Benjamin Franklin, A Modest Enquiry into the Nature and Necessity of Paper Currency, 1729 Knowing the true interests of your country is very important but doing so is far too abstruse & intricate to do with any degree of competence. This is why it’s generally a neglected practice People oftenContinue Reading

Reason Against a General Prohibition of the Iron Manufacture in His Majesty’s Plantations, c. 1750 [Note – The Iron Act included a clause that prohibited the colonists from making finished iron products for their fellow colonies. It’s not clear is colonists honored that clause] If the Iron Act’s clause wereContinue Reading

A Short Answer to an Elaborate Pamphlet Entitled “The Importance of Sugar Plantations”, 1731 There’s a bill in the House of Lords being hotly pursued by people from Barbados looking to prohibit profitable trade between the English colonies in America, & French & Dutch sugar plantations to supply them withContinue Reading

The Glorious Revolution in New England, 18 April 1689 Since the discovery of the Popish Plot & its aim to destroy Protestantism, they’ve been able to subdue heresy, most successful since the death of Queen Mary. No place is as fertile of a ground to spread Protestantism than New England.Continue Reading

Massachusetts Bay Asserts its Right to Govern, 10 June 1661 Regarding Liberties We conceive the patent to be the first & main foundation of the local civil polity by the Governor & company The Governor & company are by patent & name a body politic The body politic has theContinue Reading

Early Establishment of Local Government: County, Town, Legal System (17th Century) Virginia – 1634 Dividing Virginia into 8 shires: James City Henrico Charles City Elizabeth City Warwick River Warrosquyoake Charles River Accawmack Lieutenants, same as in England, but mostly to deal with Indians Sheriffs, same as in England Sergeants &Continue Reading

Fundamental Orders of Connecticut,14 January 1638 The People of Windsor, Hartford, & Wethersfield near the Connecticut River wish to establish a peaceful union in an orderly government according to God & to deal with the people’s affairs in a public state or commonwealth in order to maintain the liberty &Continue Reading

Charter of Massachusetts Bay, 1629 The governor, company & their successors agree that from now on, there’ll be one governor, one deputy governor & 18 assistants to be chosen from the freemen within the company This election will order general business & affairs of the territory under its charter grantedContinue Reading

An Ordinance and Constitution of the Virginia Company in England for a Council of State and General Assembly (24 July 1621) We’re trying to establish self-government in Virginia to help the people here to address injustice, grievances & oppression – or to avoid them by establishing supreme councils to assistContinue Reading

The Third Virginia Charter (1612) King James offers a charter to adventurous subjects in the colony of Virginia, to push Christianity, civilization & to make money. These settlers should form a body politic with the cooperation of the Virginia Company We grant letters patents to settlers between Virginia in Cape/PointContinue Reading