Quote: “When an Army is Sent to Enforce Laws, it is Always an Evidence that… they are Oppressive”

A South Carolina newspaper essay, reprinted in Virginia, urged that any law that had to be enforced by the military was necessarily illegitimate:

When an Army is sent to enforce Laws, it is always an Evidence that either the Law makers are conscious that they had no clear and indisputable right to make those Laws, or that they are bad [and] oppressive. Wherever the People themselves have had a hand in making Laws, according to the first principles of our Constitution there is no danger of Nonsubmission, Nor can there be need of an Army to enforce them.

William Tennent, Letter to the Editor, Some of the Blessings of Military Law, or the Insolence of Governor Gage, S.C. GAZETTE, Aug. 23, 1774, available here (The letter was published in the South Carolina Gazette, August 23, 1774, under the seudonym ―A Carolinian.)

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