(A line by line historical analysis of the accusations of the Declaration of Independence.)
IX. He has made judges dependent on his will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
In 1773, an act was passed by the British Parliament, on motion of Lord North, to make the governors and judges quite independent of those they governed, by paying their salaries directly from the National Treasury, instead of making them dependent upon the. appropriations of the Colonial Assemblies for that purpose. This measure, making the public servants in the colonies wholly dependent upon the Crown for support, and independent of the people, was calculated to make them pliant instruments in the hands of their mastersready at all times to do the bidding of the King and his council. The various Colonial Assemblies strongly protested against the measure ; and out of the excitement and just alarm which followed, that mighty lever of the revolution, the system of Committees of Correspondence, was brought forth and vigorously applied.
Early in 1774, the Massachusetts Assembly required the judges in that colony to state explicitly whether they intended to receive their salaries from the Crown. Chief Justice Oliver declared that to be his intention, and the Assembly proceeded at once to impeach him. By a vote of ninety-six to nine, he was declared to be obnoxious to the people of the colony, and a petition to the Governor for his removal was adopted. The Governor refused compliance with this expressed will of the people, and this was presumptive evidence that the Governor, too, intended to receive his salary from the Crown. This matter produced much irritation, and just cause for bitter complaint on the part of the colonists. The Governor assuming the right to keep a judge in his seat, contrary to the wishes of the people, and the Crown paying his salary, made him dependent upon the will of the King alone for the tenure of his office, and the amount and payment of his emoluments."
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