I am glad to hear that the Members below intend to establish some further Regulations to render the Association effectual, & I know of none that will answer the End proposed, but preventing by all legal & peaceable Means in our Power (for we must avoid even the Appearance of Violence) the Importation of the enumerated goods; Experience having too fully proved that when the Goods are here, many of our People will purchase, even some who affect to be called Gentlemen. For this Purpose, the Sense of Shame & the Fear of Reproach must be inculcated, & enforced in the strongest Manner; and if that can be done properly, it has a much greater Influence upon the Actions of Mankind than is generally imagined. Nature has impress'd this useful Principle upon every Breast: it is a just observation that if Shame was banished out of the World, she wou'd carry away with her what little Virtue is left in it. The Names of such Persons as purchase or import Goods contrary to the Association should be published, & themselves stigmatized as Enemys to their Country. We shou'd resolve not to associate or keep Company with them in public Places, & they should be loaded with every Mark of Infamy and Reproach. The Interest, too of the Importer may be made subservient to our Purpose; for if the principal People renounce all Connection & Commerce for ever with such Merchants, their Agents & Factors, who shall import Goods contrary to the Tenor of the Association [? ] They will hardly venture to supply their worst Customers with such Articles, at the Hazard of losing their best; but I don't see how these Regulations can be effected by any other Means than appointing Committees in the Countys, to examine from Time to Time into the Imports, & to convey an Account of any Violation of the Association to the Moderator, to be by him publish'd, or by a Committee appointed for that purpose in Wmsburg, or in such other Manner as shall be judged best; for without such Committees in the Country, I am convinced we shall once more fail of carrying the Plans into Execution; as it is of great Consequence to have these committees composed of the most respectable men pos[sible]. It will be best that one Committee be appointed from two or more countys, as the Circumstances of particular Parts of the Country may require; & such of the Merchants as are Members of the Association, ought by all Means to be of [on?] these Committees. It is true in Maryland there is a Committee in every county; but their countys are generally larger than two of ours. The Committees, whenever there is an importation of Goods within their respective Districts, shou'd convene themselves, & in a civil Manner apply to the Merchants or Importers concern'd, & desire to see the Invoyces & Papers respecting such Importation, & if they find any Goods therein contrary to the Associati[on] let the Importers know that it is the Opinion & Request of the Country that such Goods shall not be opened or stored, but reship'd to the Place from whence they came; and in Case of Refusal, without any Manner of Violence, inform them of the Consequences, & proceed to publish an Account of their conduct.
I am persuaded there are few Importers who wou'd persist in refusing to comply with such a Request, & proper Resolution in the Association, with one or two public Examples, wou'd quickly put an End to it. The Objection that this wou'd be infringing the Rights of others, while we are contending for Liberty ourselves, is ill founded. Every Member of Society is in Duty bound to contribute to the Safety & Good of the Whole; and when the Subject is of such Importance as the Liberty & Happiness of a Country, every inferior Consideration, as well as the Inconvenience to a few Individuals, must give place to it;1
nor is this any Hardship upon them; as themselves & their Posterity are to partake of the Benefits resulting from it. Objections of the same kind might be made to the most useful civil institutions.