(A line by line historical analysis of the accusations of the Declaration of Independence.)
X. He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
The passage of the Stamp Act, in 1765, called for the establishment of a new officer in every sea-port town, who was entitled Stamp Master. It was his business to dispose of the stamps and collect the revenue accruing from the same.
In 1766, an act was passed for imposing rates and duties, payable in the colonies. This act called for the creation of collectors of the customs, and "swarms of officers" were brought into being.
In 1767 an act was adopted "to enable his majesty to put the customs, and other duties in America, under the management of commissioners," &c., and a board of commissioners was at once erected. The members were paid high salaries, besides having many perquisitesall of which were paid by the colonists.
In 1768 Admiralty and Vice-Admiralty courts were established on a new model, and an increase in the number of officers was made; and thus, by act after act, each receiving the royal signature, were "sent hitlier swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance."
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