28 September 1772175

    Messieurs EDES & GILL,

    IN your Gazette of the 10th of February last, I took occasion to deliver my sentiments on the imprisonment of Ebenezer Richardson. A truth I then delivered, give me leave to repeat—“NO TYRANNY so secure, none so INTOLLERABLE, none so DANGEROUS, none so REMEDILESS, as that of EXECUTIVE COURTS.”

    ———— This is a truth all nations bear witness to, all history confirms. And so sensible are all tyrants of the importance of such courts to advance and establish their system of oppression, they never rest ‘till they have compleatly corrupted or BOUGHT THE JUDGES OF THE LAND. I could easily show that the most deep-laid and daring attacks upon the rights of a people might in some measure be defeated or evaded by upright judicatories:—that bad laws with good judges make little progress. “Let me make the judges,” said the Pedant King James, “I care not who makes the laws”; and this was very far from being the worst speech of that vain-glorious monarch.—How would the silly tyrant have hugged himself in fancied bliss, if he had been gratified with making laws, judges, lawyers, sheriffs, &c. and then to have PAID and displaced them ALL AT PLEASURE? Cou’d a Nero wish more? The people then would have no more real life, than might be extinguished with one single stroke.—

    My countrymen, Great-Britain with legislative solemnity has told you, she can bind you and yours by her laws, when the parliament please:—the parliament have so bound, and are still so binding you:—Who appoints—who displaces our judges, we all know; but who pays them? THE LAST VESSELS from England tell us, THE JUDGES AND THE SUBALTERNS HAVE GOT SALARIES FROM—GREAT-BRITAIN!176 Is it possible this last movement should not rouse us—and drive us—not to desperation—but to OUR DUTY!

    Let us consider what has been done in the Green-tree—We may form some judgment what will be done in the dry. Richardson’s Case we all know.—Capt. Preston is called to his trial; TALES MEN are wanted. Stephen Greenleaf, Esq; is to return them. Accidentally suitable Persons are at hand. They are returned. Mankind know them, their sentiments, their political conduct, their engagements in extensive trade—their usual attention to it, and to scarce any thing else. However, they urge no objection—they set, and Preston is acquitted.177

    Pierpont and Davis are to be tried.—A TALESMAN is wanted.—Chandler returns two from Hardwick. The Judges sum up the case. Pierpont is ordered to pay £15 and Costs—.178

    These and a multitude of other like facts, which all the world ought properly to resent, need no comment: the blind may see—the callous must feel:—the spirited will act.

    Surely we may think as freely, as the Reviewers write, who are under the Nose of Lord Mansfield.179—Leaving wise and good men to comment and apply their words, I close with their Expressions in the review of December last. “It is not be accounted surprising in an age, when virtue is, in some measure, a reproach, and men of high Quality are only noted for debauchery, THAT JUDGES should dispossess themselves of every appearance of integrity, and assume the boldest and most unpardonable latitude in the interpretation of the Laws.180


    N. B.181 The judges of England have salaries independent of Crown and people, with commissions during good Behaviour: If the reverse of this was true, according to the account of the reviewers, it is very certain, they would soon be—incarnate.—Awake my countrymen! Arise—consider—AND ACT LIKE MEN! C.