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Without infringing on their national or individual independence;






printed for T: SPENCE, No 8, Little Turnstile, High Holborn; Patriotic Bookseller, and Publisher of PIGS' MEAT, and the END OF OPPRESSION.


THE annual Landed Rental of a certain country, is said to be Fifty Millions, and the Taxes Twenty Millions. And it is also said that the Government of the same country has, and may be, administered at the small expence of One Million and a Half: Wherefore, according to the System of the End of Oppression, there remains a goodly surplus of Sixty-eight Millions and a Half of Public Property, to be divided among the inhabitants to promote Industry, annihilate Misery, and establish the Reign of Felicity.



CLERGYMAN. WELL, Gentlemen, what do you think of the civilization of the Indians of North America, which General Washington speaks of in the Congress, as a matter of practicability? I hope he will be careful in their instruction to sow the seeds of religion, for without a due impression therefrom, they will be but savages still.

Courtier.  I am of your opinion, Sir, that nothing conduces so much to render the people good and submissive subjects, as religion. This was a matter well understood by all the ancient legislators, for they always commenced their business by forming the minds of their new subjects to religion.

Esquire.  Yes, that was certainly the way to make blind and slavish subjects, but not manly and independent citizens. Superstition undoubtedly contributed very much to render the people a willing prey to Kings and Priests, therefore it is not surprizing to see Church and State so inseparably united from the beginning. For which reasons I would be ( 4 ) very sorry to see the independent minds of these North American Indians, the only freemen remaining on the face of the earth, poisoned and depraved by superstition.

Farmer.  Neither would I like to see them become beasts of burden to Esquires and Landlords, for then I would give them up as irretrievably lost. When a people tamely suffer individuals to raise princely revenues from them, under pretence of rents, let them no more talk about liberty. All further impositions and imposts become the natural consequence of the first departure from system. And oppression thus sanctioned and become familiar, all men readily join in the scramble, and catch that catch can. But as in all scrambles, the landlords are sure to seize on the government, and as surely too will keep it.

Some people cry out against such proceedings as unfair, and though they defend the scrambling system, yet would they have men to do it conscienciously. To hear people so far departed from rectitude, bawling about liberty, justice, generosity, and I know not what is truely farcical, and they become the real objects of both ridicule and pity.

If there can be no civil society without paying rents to individuals, I could heartily concur with the Indians to remain forever in their native freedom, without Kings, Priests, Lords or Landlords. But I think I can show how they may do without Lords of any kind, and yet reap all the advantages of civilized life.

Courtier.   You may form, Sir, what ærial plans you please, but I believe none will be found to succeed but the good old way by invasion practised by the Israelites, the Romans, the Goths, the Vandals, the Saxons, the Danes, the Normans, the Spaniards, the English, and indeed all other civilizers of mankind. When any of those intended to civilize a ( 5 ) portion of the earth, they entered it with force and arms, took possession of the Lands, and garrisoned themselves all over the country, and thus reducing the inhabitants on their respective manors, to vassals and tenants universal submission was the inevitable consequence. This way of instructing mankind, appears indeed very harsh, but their conquerors always endeavoured to soothe their sorrows with the consolations of religion, which they introduced at the same time.

Esquire.   A very uncivil way of civilizing the world indeed, and I don't approve of it, because if it be allowed to be just in the above instances, this country which has already been many times civilized by different invaders, as the Romans, Saxons, Danes, and Normans, may yet if any of our neighbourng nations take it into their heads to think us in too rude a state, be civilized again, and in this manner we shall never be done improving. I would however propose a milder way for the Americans.—As there can be no civilization without Landlords, to let and parcel out the lands among the people, and see them cultivated, they must of necessity have Landlords. But the Indians at present being all equally independent, and having all an equal right to the soil, the best way is for the men in every township to cast lots who should be Landlord of the district. When this is done, the grand business is settled, and civilization must of course follow. The rest of the natives, and also foreigners, would then come and take of these Landlords such portions of land as they wanted, at certain rates and rents as they should agree. And the foreigners who thus came to settle among them, would bring with them commerce and the arts and sciences, and thus they would soon become a populous and flourishing people.

( 6 )Farmer.   And is there no way to civilize mankind without reducing the great body of the people to a state of dependence and vassalage? Do you consider, Sir, that your mild scheme immediately puts an end to all civil liberty. Those great men, the Lords of the townships, would seize on the national government as an inseparable apppendage of their property; for in short, the landed interest and the government are always one and the same. To cry like children about liberty, after giving individuals princely inheritances and revenues to buy and sell them, has long been the certain sign of the world's insanity, and before they bawl any more about such matters, they should so far recover their senses as to know that landed property and liberty always go together.

If then I were allowed to form a plan for the civilization of the Indians, it should be such a one as should preserve to them their individual independence and property, and yet afford them all the advantages of Landlords, and all other civil institutions, at a very cheap rate. For certainly we have a right to wish for cheap Landlords, as well as cheap Clergy, or cheap Institutions of any civil nature. The best of things are never the worse for being cheap, and they may be bought too dear.

To proceed then, you will no doubt be surprized, Gentlemen, after what I have said, to hear that the foundation of my plan, is, that the Indians shall pay rents; yes, I say, pay rents. This will prevent individuals from coveting more land than they can make a good use of; and when they have once set a value or rate on the lands, according to admeasurement and quality, the greatest difficulty is over, and they have only to consider to whom the rents shall be paid. Aye, but here lies the rub,—for a mistake in this point is the rock on which the liberties of the world have been wrecked.

( 7 )O ye untainted uncorrupted sons of freedom, let me address you on this momentous occasion, with the earnestness and warmth of a friend, though with eloquence far below the importance of the subject. You alone of all the wretched inhabitants of the earth, are yet unwarped by slavish customs, and can profit by advise. Hearken then to the disinterested lessons of a man that pants for the emancipation of all the human race, that has from his infancy endeavoured to discover a system of society, founded on equality, justice, and the individual independence of mankind. But beware of him that aims to establish privileged orders, for he wishes himself principally to profit thereby; whereas the preacher of equal rights and privileges must undoubtedly be honest, as he thereby shuts out himself from any pre-eminence.

Attend then, Indians, now is the most critical moment of your political existence, upon the turn of your opinion depends now the everlasting independence or degradation of your race.—Yes, on the determination to whom you will pay your rents, depends everything valuable in this life.

How then shall we assist you through this critical dilemma?—Shall we send a swarm of Clergy among you to receive your rents, and employ you in building churches and monasteries?—Or shall we send a host of armed Israelites, Normans, or Spaniards, to take possession of your country, make you hewers or wood and drawers of water, and employ you in building them temples, castles, and palaces; nay, condemn you to dig your own mines for their use, and in short, to claim you as their eternal tenants and vassals, and in all respects to treat you like foreigners in your own country? Or shall we advise you to create Lords from among yourselves, who to all intents and purposes would be as pernicious and tyrannical to you as foreigners? Forbid ( 8 ) it reason—forbid it justice—No, rather than strengthen the hands of tyrants with your rents, give them to the fishes of the sea—throw them into some bottomless abyss, from whence they will never more rise to enslave you by force, or corrupts you by influence or bribery. Methinks now Indians, I see you wisely determined, and just ready to drop those dreaded rents into the gulph.—But hold, my lads, hold! Let us first try if we can hit upon some expedient to save this hard earned wealth from perdition, and yet save your liberties. Is not the public the Lord of the Manor? Does not the country belong to the inhabitants? And is not the land public property?

The public then is Lord of the Manor, and has an indefeasible right to the rents, and will never use them to your hurt. Carry them home then, and divide the rents collected in each township or district among the inhabitants, and you will find freedom and independence, instead of dreaded slavery to spring from the action; and like Manure, spread again over the soil from whence it came, they will cause your country to flourish in an unprecedented manner.

Wherefore, O ye Indians, hearken to the voice of truth, and let neither force nor sophistry deprive you of the Lordship of your soil, nor of the foreign disposal of your rents and revenues. Never forget that the public is Lord of the Manor, from generation to generation, and all other landlords are imposters and robber, and however they may stile themselves gentlement, are only wolves in sheeps’ cloathing, and live by spoil. Beware of them then, for where they once get a footing, there is no rooting them out again. Think of these things, and preserve your lordship entire, and your liberties are safe, and you soon shall become the most enviable nation upon earth, and the lovers of freedom will ( 9 ) flock to you from all corners of the world, intreating to become your Fellow-citizens.

Esquire.  Then you admit that your civilized Indians should pay rents?

Farmer.   By all means; I would have them to pay for every species of property; for if not, we know that nothing else can ever bound the insatiable covetousness of men. But by the lands and houses being paid for as tenements, people will desire to possess no more than they can pay for, and make a good use of, and they will then find their true value. And to prevent impositions on individuals, and to keep up the worth of public property to its true level with other property, the tenements should be let in seven year leases to the best bidder. When this is done, their citizens being thus kept on a level without superiors, universal suffrage follows of course, as well as universal capability of being elected. The government of such a people, must of necessity be the most pure and perfect democracy, and every thing must be subject to their controul.

Thus may the manly, the warlike Indians be civilized without being tamed, without becoming hewers of wood, and drawers of water, either to foreign invaders or native usurpers. The slaves and disfranchized labourers of other nations would here find emancipation, and ascend to the real character of man. Encrease of population could not in this system infringe upon the independence, rights and privileges of individuals, wherefore no jealousy would be harboured against foreigners, but all comers would be received with the pure and and sincere fraternal embrace, and congratulated as if escaped from an Algerine captivity.

Esquire.   But I have another plan; I think it would be very easy and natural for the present Indian inhabitants to divide all their country among ( 10 ) themselves in equal shares, and then they might let portions of it to such foreigners as chose to become their tenants.

Farmer.   The same story over again! I find you must have landlords set up, though the liberties of all the world should go to perdition. The consequence of dividing all the lands equally, would be, that the present inhabitants would be equal, it is true, while they did not sell their estates; but foreigners and their children who became their tenants, would not be equal, and would have no share in the government; neither would the younger sons of the Indians, if the elder brethren inherited their father’s estates as in Europe; and although the estates should at every man’s death be equally divided among all his sons that would not preserve equality. For in prolific families the estates would be divided and sub-divided, till they were frittered to nothing, while other families by decreasing in number, would grow rich by concentrated estates, creating thereby inequality in landed fortunes, and of consequence in rights and privileges.

It is not worth regarding the trifling influence of moveable property alone on the liberties of a people; for when wealth cannot be fixed and rooted in land, it is of a fluctuating and evaporating nature, and is apt, like the moisture of the earth, to take wings and fly away, unless restored by the showers of industry. Wherefore, as said before, to preserve the liberties of mankind THE PUBLIC ALONE IN ALL GENERATIONS, AND NO INDIVIDUALS MUST BE LANDLORD. And let all the people say, Amen!


Those who wish to see how civilized Nations may be reformed into the same simple system proposed to the Indians, must read the END OF OPPRESSION, in two Parts, Price Twopence, Published also by T. Spence.


From a Speech made by FRERON in the Convention, on August 26, 1794.

HOW unfortunate it is, that after five years of a revolution, begun by the light which the Liberty of the Press had flashed, even in the eyes of despots; if, after having enjoyed for four years the most indefinite liberty of thinking, speaking, writing and printing; if after having inscribed this liberty in the Declaration of the Rights of Man, as the most sacred of all rights, the most inviolable and invincible protection of the rest, we now find ourselves obliged to call for a decree on the Liberty of the Press! I respect the convention too much; I have studied this spirit and the effect of its laws too deeply to ask if there is a law that abolishes the Liberty of the Press. No; no law of yours could take from the people—your sovereign and your constituent—the enjoyment of the first of the Rights of Man. But the tyrant, to whom nothing was sacred but his own pride, trampled equally underfoot, the Rights of Man, and your laws. By him were sent to death men guilty of no other crime, but that of having printed their opinions at a time when even the excess of liberty had the protection, and the guarantee of all the laws and all the powers. As artful as he was cruel, he never ventured to say printing is forbidden; but the guillotine fell on every man who availed himself of his right. To make liberty go backwards, it was necessary for him to make knowledge do so too. If the press have remained free, the number of irreproachable citizens who were daily dragged from their homes to the prison, and 12 from the prison to the scaffold, would have raised their voice. Details of the horrors committed in the prisons, would have been presented to the view of a humane people. The outrages of justice and humanity by assassins, which he called a tribunal, would have resounded from one end of the republic to the other; and not only whatever wore a human heart, but the very stones would have risen up against the monster, who harangued on mortality and virtue, while he stopped every voice that could speak of his innumberable crimes. Thus he suppressed at once the Freedom of Debate, by which the convention could have denounced him to the nation, and the Liberty of the Press, by which the nation would have denounced him to the convention. This dreadful example ought to teach us how necessary is the Liberty of the Press to terrify, to unmask, and to stop the plots of ambitious men. — Every thing also tells us how necessary is this liberty to maintain, in representative legislation, the true attributes of democracy, and to collect around the legislators the information that is indespensible, for establishing, in a vast democracy, order with equality, and the most perfect security, with the most extensive liberty.