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The period of Shirley's active career covered by this vdume is that from 1731 to 1749, the first decade spent as a lawyer and much of it as advocate-general of the court of ^ce-admiralty for the northern district, \and the later period as governor of Massachusetts. If entire suppression of the bills were contemplated, it should be reached only after further experiment with them for two or three years with these limitations, rather than suddenly at the end of seven years.* On the coinage Shirley offered a very interesting sugges- tion. It seems equally true that but for the astute and surprisingly successful steps of Shirley in ameliorating a very discouraging situation Massachusetts would have been bound by paper bonds so large and so intricately tangled that even an effective de- fense might have resulted in financial exhaustion.* Shirley had found no panacea, but he had perhaps done better, by educating the people of the province to under- stand the nature of paper money. Old Tenor Outstanding at Belcher's accession (1750) beyond the periods stated in the acts of emission due to failure to issue executions against constables, collectors, etc. The work of composition had been begun but had not been carried far enough to receive the criticism which Professor Osgood was so richly equipped to give before his last sacrifice on be- half of historical scholarship had been made. Dunning of Columbia University has given very valuable assistance and counsel in the prep- aration of the manuscript for the press. Spencer of Ohio State University for his many very helpful suggestions for the in^ovennent of the manuscript. Schlesinger, of the State University of Iowa, Professor Charles C. The figures given by Shirley for the emissions of bills of credit for the years indicated vary somewhat from those contained in the table appended to Davis, " Currency and Banking," loc. l8o WILLIAM SHIRLEY— A HISTORY Sums specified for retirement in acts for drawing in bilb of credit issued under i Sfairley, passed or projected before December, 1743 : Second Computed New Sterling Tenor Value Retired in 1742 ^21,638 : o : 354 Voted in 1743 and largely in by Dec., 1743 23,738: 4: 9K Total 45,376: 5 : i Proposed taxes for 17 equdl to those for 17. 39,623 : 14: 11 £26,414: 9: i^i Progress in retirement of bills estimated by Shirley: Second New Old Tenor Tenor Of those left out by Belcher : by May, 1744 £400,000 by December, 1744, an additional 50,000 by December, 1744, also the sum emitted in December, 1742 to make good the deficiency of Belcher's fund i8,ooo 32,000 Total 482,000 By end of 1746 all other emissions under Shirley to December, 1743 240,000 Total 722,000 The data upon which this statement is based is drawn from Shirley to Board, Dec. In reply the representatives freely granted authority (which he already had through his commission and instructions) to take necessary military steps to protect the inland frontier and coast with the as^ surance that he might " safely depend " that all charges in- curred for such purposes by the advice of the council would be provided for in the next supply. Huntington of Ohio State University and Pro- fessor Elmer B. REFORMS, CHIEFLY ECONOMIC 173 sentiment and the governor had impressed the legislature with the imminence of Parliamentary action, he succeeded in getting a law through the assembly forbidding the last emission of Rhode Island bills and future issues by govern- ments outside Massachusetts from circulating there. Total issues of paper money tinder Shirley to Dec, 1743 85,000 Total retired and voted to be retired in 1742 and I743 45,376: 5 : i Balance of issues under Shirley out- standing after tax of 1743 was in . The assttnbly added, however : " Should there be a power invested in any other than the general court to infer upon the province a large ex- pense, it might be a precedent dangerous to us, altho' we 1 C/. This fact made necessary an attempt to present an imperial background. 174 WILLIAM SHIRLEY— A HISTORY to get the assembly, for its own vindication, to represent the facts relating to the New England paper currencies to Parlia- ment; but his effort failed.' Likewise a vote of the council, which Shirley doubtless favored, requesting him to make a full representation to the ministers of state of the need for distinguishing between the bills of Massachusetts and of her neighbors, in Parliamentary action, in order that justice be done to her, was disapproved by the house.' The legis- lature doubtless felt confident that Shirley would so repre- sent the matter in any case, and they were always wary of recognizing in any form the jurisdiction of the British government over them. Such coins in New England would, he thought, be safeguarded against being exported to Europe, and if receivable in the province at the treasury in payment of annual taxes at their value or more, would be sufficiently safeguarded against depreciation. REFORMS, CHIEFLY ECONOMIC 177 of a silver currency. He at once sent a notice of the fact to the frontier Indian tribes in alliance with Massa- chusetts (Penobscots, Norridgewalks, Pigwackets, etc.), insisted upon their obligation to side with the English and assured them ojf protection and friendship if faithful.* There was an early demonstration of the need for the prompt exercise of discretion by some one in defending British interests in America when the French attacked the village of New England fishermen at Canso. As there were nearly 10,000 of these French inhabitants, and they could be reinforced from Canada and Cape Breton, and as communication with those districts was easy, it would likewise be easy for the French to hold Annapolis Royal if taken. In the garrison thus put hors de combat were fourteen soldiers reported incurably lame, and five veterans who were both too crippled and too old to fight. It also furnished the guide to the method of treatment This has been directed toward the production of a picture of colonial problems in a process of evolution in an im- perial setting ; necessarily often partial and even fragmentary in scope but dealing with parts which found their unity in political, economic and social forces which bound together two hemispheres, making the Atlantic something more than an English lake. Moreover, Shirley had just told them that coinage was not a charter privil^e of the colonies, but was exercised by royal indulgence;' and this could hardly have recommended the governor to them as a rep- resentative of what they doubtless conceived to be their charter rights in that respect. If this were thought practicable, he suggested that £100,000 sterling in that form would, in connection with proportionate sums for the other New England governments, make it possible to suppress the bills of credit without bad results for either British trade or colonial development. Without such regulation, he thought a silver currency impracticable in New England.^ There the matter for the present slept, but it is worthy of note that as early as the spring of 1744 Shirley had visualized a silver currency for Massachusetts (indeed for all New England) and urged it upon the home government. This episode directly affected Nova Scotia instead of Massachusetts but was indirectly a blow to the latter and to a less extent to all New England. The motive for taking it was strong be- cause Nova Scotia, which it partly dominated, was the only certain source of provisions in America for the garrison at Louisburg.^ The suggestion that the Canso garrison be transferred *For a contemporary sketch of Canso, Annapolis Royal and the conditions then existing in Nova Scotia, cf, "An account of Nova Scotia " annexed to Kilby to Board, Apr. This nondes- cript force was generously permitted to sign terms of capitulation under which they were to be imprisoned at Louisburg for a year, after which they might return to New England or Annapolis Royal.* The same terms were extended to Lieutenant Ryal, in command of a British sloop, the Mary, and his men, who had been captured by the French expedition with the garrison at Canso, while serv- ing upon the post assigned them the preceding summer be- tween Canso and Cape Breton to prevent trade between Nova Scotia and the latter place.* ^The expedition consisted of two vessels. Along with this unity, representing the established and the *' usual " in the English imperial system, there is a lesser unity, that of the Americans standing for a polity made up of elements some of which were wholly English and unchallenged at home and others rather de facto than regular and accepted. He in fact urged upon the h(»ne government the need for a uniform r^ulation of paper money in all four New England governments as the only real remedy for the existing evils.* At the same time that he took this position he found it necessary to oppose extremists who wished Parliament not only to regulate paper money in New England, but to sup- press it entirely at the end of seven years. New England, he pointed out, would be much worse crippled without a medium of exchange than Virginia, Maryland and the Sugar Islands, inasmuch as she unlike them had no staple to serve as a sul- stitute for it. It then seemed visionary, yet in a brief season it was to be realized. The primary responsibility for what hap- pened lay with the British government, for failing properly to defend her outlying possessions and for further negli- gently permitting delay in notifying her colonies in America of the outbreak of war. Duquesnel, the commander at Louisburg, ample time to prepare and despatch an expedition against Canso,* before any effectual ^Jour., Apr. One of these a sloop carrying ninety-four men, eight carriage guns, swivels, etc., was captured about a month later by the Massachusetts guard ship in Massachusetts Bay.
The latter, including those elements which the home government did not seriously attempt to regulate and those which they failed in the ef- fort to qontrcd, make up the stream of forces which should prove most significant to the student of the causes of the American Revolution. In opposition to such a scheme he had already in 1743 pointed out that the bills were at the time the sole available currency for both public and private purposes, and that for a time suppression would entail an almost complete impotence of the govern- ment. REFORMS, CHIEFLY ECONOMIC 175 of business that English trade would suffer severely, and might be almost destroyed through the growth of local manufactures to supply articles the colonists would be im- able to buy in England for lack of money. Such a deliverance from paper currency, he concluded, would be much for his majesty's service, and the most beneficial change which could happen to the country and the British trade thither.^ This, however, like most suggestions involving large in- itiative on the part of the home government, aroused no enthusiasm at home. As Parliament made no headway, meanwhile, in handling the currency question, paper money remained with its at- tendant evils during the war with France.
Meanwhile the writer ventures the judgment that it is not a gulf sep- arating significant periods of history, not a no man's land in which the historical student is likely to happen upon dis- aster, but a fidd whose essential significance is likely to re- ceive an increased recognition with the passage of time. There were four companies in the garrison, who, it was estimated, might equal eighty men.
Without intensive study of it a proper evaluation cannot be made of the merits of the imperial policies of England under the house of Orange and the early Hanoverians nor of the reactions of the colonists to those policies which ulti- mately led to the American Revolution. Their only security from capture and imprisonment was the chance that the French at Louisburg might not have a sufficient stock of provisions to support them. 5 900, 96; Heron, etc., to Shirley^ June 10, 1744, C.
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