A Colonist Reports on the Debate in Parliament on the Stamp Act 
(Isaac Barre's speech)

Jared Ingersoll to Thomas Fitch, 11 Feb. 1765

After him Mr. Charles Townsend spoke in favour of the Bill --- took Notice of several things Mr. Barre had said, and concluded with the following or like Words, "And now will these Americans, Children planted by our Care, nourished up by our Indulgence until they are grown to a Degree of Strength & Opulence, and protected by our Arms, will they grudge to contribute their mite to relieve us from the heavy weight of that burden which we lie under?"

When he had done, Mr. [Isaac] Barre rose and having explained something which he had before said & which Mr. Townsend had been remarking upon, he then took up the beforementioned Concluding words of Mr. Townsend, and in a most spirited & I thought an almost inimitable manner, said ---

"They planted by your Care? No! your Oppressions planted em in America. They fled from your Tyranny to a then uncultivated and unhospitable Country---where they exposed themselves to almost all the hardships to which human Nature is liable, and among others to the Cruel ties of a Savage foe, the most subtle and I take upon me to say the most formidable of any People upon the face of Gods Earth. And yet, actuated by Principles of true english Lyberty, they met all these hardships with pleasure, compared with those they suffered in their own Country, from the hands of those who should have been their Friends.

"They nourished up by your indulgence? they grew by your neglect of Em: ---as soon as you began to care about Em, that Care was Excercised in sending persons to rule over Em, in one Department and another, who were perhaps the Deputies of Deputies to some Member of this house---sent to Spy out their Lyberty, to misrepresent their Actions & to prey upon Em; men whose behaviour on many Occasions has caused the Blood of those Sons of Liberty to recoil within them; men promoted to the highest Seats of Justice, some, who to my knowledge were glad by going to a foreign Country to Escape being brought to the Bar of a Court of Justice in their own.

"They protected by your Arms? they have nobly taken up Arms in your defence, have Exerted a Valour amidst their constant & Laborious industry for the defence of a Country, whose frontier, while drench'd in blood, its interior Parts have yielded all its little Savings to your Emolument. And believe me, remember I this Day told you so, that same Spirit of freedom which actuated that people at first, will accompany them still.---But prudence forbids me to explain myself further. God knows I do not at this Time speak from motives of party Heat, what I deliver are the genuine Sentiments of my heart; however superiour to me in general knowledge and Experience the reputable body of this house may be, yet I claim to know more of America than most of you, having seen and been conversant in that Country. The People I believe are as truly Loyal as any Subjects the King has, but a people Jealous of their Lyberties and who will vindicate them, if ever they should be violated---but the Subject is too delicate & I will say no more."

These Sentiments were thrown out so intirely without premeditation, so forceably and so firmly, and the breaking off so beautifully abrupt, that the whole house sat awhile as Amazed, intently Looking and without answering a Word. I own I felt Emotions that I never felt before & went the next Morning & thank'd Col. Barre in behalf of my Country for his noble and spirited Speech. However, Sir after all that was said; upon a Division of the house upon the Question, there was about 250 to about 50 in favour of the Bill. The truth is I believe some who inclined rather against the Bill voted for it, partly because they are lath to break the Measures of the Ministry . . .