Imágenes de página

treaty held at Philadelphia in the September | concern about any other consideration whatpreceding; and declared themselves dispos- soever. ed and resolved to do every thing in their Whether the proprietaries ought to be taxed power, if it should appear they had sustain- or not he would no longer dispute.

6 It was ed any injury at their hand, to regain their sufficient for him, he said, that they had given affections, rather than by any neglect or re- him no power in that case; he reproached fusal of that justice which was due both to them with having sat six days, and instead of them and all their Indian allies, entail upon strenthening his hands in that interval, with themselves and their posterity the calamities having sent him a message, for regaining the of a cruel Indian war, of which they appre- affections of the Indians then employed in hended there would otherwise be but too laying waste the country, and butchering the much danger."

inhabitants.” But then he chose to forget And the governor, the same afternoon, entirely their application to him at their first sending down another message, importing, sitting, for such intelligence as they might " that the enemy had fallen upon the settle- then have proceeded to business upon, and ments at a place called the Great Cove, and his express declaration, when they proposed slaughtered or made prisoners such of the in- an adjournment to him, that he had no buhabitants as could not make their escape; siness to impart to them.” He, nevertheless, that those adjoining were quitting their habi- added, “ that, upon the repeated accounts he tations and retreating inwards; and that he had received of the miserable situation of the must therefore most earnestly press them to back counties, his council had unanimously strengthen his hands, and enable him speedily advised him to repair thither himself, to put to draw forth the forces of the province, as things in the best order possible; and that he any delay might be attended with the most had hitherto declined it, that he might first fatal consequences;" they took the same in- know what they had to propose on this occato immediate consideration, and granted sixty sion; but that having now received a bill thousand pounds to the king's use, to be struck from them, which they well knew he could in bills of credit, and sunk by a tax of six not give his consent to, he despaired of their pence per pound, and ten shillings per head, doing any thing, so should immediately set yearly, for four years, laid on all the estates, off for the back counties; that if the people real and personal, and taxables within the there had not all the assistance their present province; and on the fourth day afterwards distresses made necessary, it would not be sent it up to the governor for his assent, who, for want of inclination in him, but of power; most unwarrantably and cruelly took advan- that he should take a quorum of the council tage of the terrors which had seized upon the with him; and that, in case they should have province, and which he himself had helped to any bills to propose that were consistent with accumulate, to reject it immediately; urging, the duties of his station, and the just rights that it was of the same kind with one he had of government, he should readily give his conformerly refused his assent to. And that it sent to them whenever they were brought to was not consistent either with his duty or his him.” safety, to exceed, in matters of government, This menace of immediately setting off for the powers of his commission, much less to do the back counties, was also another piece of what his commission expressly prohibited." practice on the fears of the assembly; but So that his own safety with regard to his bond | whatever effect it had without doors, it does and his commission were put into the scale not appear to have had much within; on the against the safety of the province; and his contrary, the assembly deputed two of their duty to the proprietaries against his duty to members, to know his determinate resolution, the king and the public; which shows, in one “ whether he would or would not pass the word, that the whole bias of such government bill ?" and in the latter case, “ to desire him is eccentrical and unnatural.

to return it to the house."

This message was His first duty was to concur with the as- verbal; and he evaded a present reply by sembly in whatever was necessary for the saying, that if the house would send him a good and happy government of the province; message in writing on that head, he would the necessity of the grant in question, even return them an answer; adding, “ that he for the preservation of the province, had been should not return the said bill.” the burden of every one of his speeches and A written message was hereupon taken messages. So pressing was the extremity, so into consideration ; but before it could be imminent the danger, so terrifying the con- perfected, another from the governor was fusion, that the least delay on the side of the brought down by the secretary, importing, assembly had been represented as productive that the Indians living upon the Susquehanof the most fatal consequences; and yet the na, amounting in all to about three hundred smallest proprietary consideration could in- fighting men, had applied to him, to put the duce the governor to act as if he did not be- hatchet into their hands in conjunction with lieve one word he had said, or had the least the provincial forces, and to be furnished with VOL. II. ...N


[ocr errors]

arms, ammunition, provisions, and strong diness to do them justice, before hostilities houses, for the protection of their old men, were returned, and the breach grown wider ; women, and children; that they had desired that for their better information, and without an explicit answer without further delay, that intending the least offence to the governor, they might either prepare to act with the they had applied for the last treaty; that their province, or provide for their own security; message to this effect was sent upon the sethat they had assured him this would be cond day after their entering upon business ; the last application they should make; and and that the governor had not till then vouchthat in case it did not succeed, they should safed them an answer. Coming then to the leave them as an infatuated people to the bill, “ They suggested an apprehension, that mercy of their enemies; that he could not the governor's immediate refusal of it, because but look upon this as one of the most import- it was of the same kind with one he had beant matters that ever came under their consi- fore refused, arose from his not having allowderation; as it could not be supposed these ed himself time to consider of it;" adding, Indians would expose themselves

to the fury " that indeed all bills for raising money were of an enemy so superior to themselves, unless so far of the same kind ; but this differed they were vigorously supported ; and as a re- greatly from every former bill which had fusal would unavoidably throw them into the been offered him; that all the amendments (of arms of the French; that how fatal this must any consequence) which he had proposed to prove to the inhabitants of Pennsylvania and the last bill he had refused, save that for totally all the English colonies, they could not be ig- exempting the proprietary estate, had been adnorant; that he was ready and desirous to do mitted in this; that being as desirous as the goany thing consistent with his duty to the vernor to avoid any dispute on that head, they crown for the protection and assistance, as had even so framed the bill, as to submit it enwell those of their allies, as of the said in- tirely to his majesty's royal determination, habitants; and that upon this important af- whether that estate had or had not a right to fair, and at the pressing instance of these In- such exemption; that so much time was allowdians, he had put off his journey to the back ed by the bill

, that the king's pleasure might settlements, although he conceived his pre- possibly be known even before the first assesssence among them at that time to be extreme- ment; that it was farther provided, that if at ly necessary.”

any time during the continuance of the act, the Thus the defeat of one expedient made way crown should declare the said estate exempt for the trial of another; and what the govern- as aforesaid, in such case the tax, though or's set-off could not effect, was to be re-at- assessed, should not be levied, or if levied tempted by this put-off.

should be refunded, and replaced by an addiThe assembly, however, were equally proof tional tax on the province; that they could against both; and having adjusted a separate not conceive any thing more fair and reaanswer to each, sent them up the next day, sonable than this, or that the governor November 11, by the same messengers. would or could start any objection to it: since

In the first they signified, “ that they had the words * in his commission, which he was come together with the sincerest disposition pleased to suppose contained an express proto avoid, if possible, all disputes whatsoever hibition of his passing such a bill, did not arwith the governor; that they were deeply pear to them to have any such meaning ; that affected with the distresses of the frontier if it was one of the just rights of government, country, and determined to do every thing that the proprietary estate should not be taxthat could be expected of them for the public ed for the common defence of all estates in safety ; that they had immediately voted a the province, those just rights were well large sum for the king's service, and provid- understood in England, the proprietaries ed å fund for sinking the whole within five were on the spot to plead their own cause, years, as recommended by the governor ; that or if as remote as they (the assembly) were, as the colony had been founded on maxims might safely confide in his majesty's known of peace, as they had so long maintained an wisdom and justice; that the equity of their uninterrupted friendship with the natives, being taxed, had appeared so plain even ta and as the French had already gained the De- their best friends there, that they had enterlawares * and Shawanese to their interest, ed into à voluntary subscription to pay their they thought it was but natural for them to supposed quota for them, in full assurance, inquire what cause of complaint had been administered to them, and to express their rea

*“ Provided always, that nothing herein contained, shall extend, or be construed to extend, to give you

any power or authority to do, perform, act, suffer, ae. * A pamphlet was written in Pennsylvania, and pub- quiesce in, or consent or agree unto, any act, matter or lished in London, entitled, “ An inquiry into the cause thing whatsoever, by means or reason whereof, we, of of the alienation of the Delaware and Shawanese In either of us, or the heirs of us, or either of us, may be dians from the British interest," &c., wherein will be hurt, prejudiced, impeached, or incumbered, in our oi found what reason the assembly had to suspect those their, or either of our or their royalties, jurisdictions Indians might have been injuriously created by the properties, estate, right, title or interest, of, in or to, the proprietaries and their agents.

said province or counties, or any part of them."

that if they had been present, they would heavy expenses in cultivating and maintaining have done the same themselves, and would friendship with the Indians, though they reap repay what should be so advanced for them; such immense advantages by that friendship; that if the proprietaries had any of this zeal but that they now, by their lieutenant, refuse for the service about them, this bill, if passed, to contribute any part towards resisting an would give them a happy opportunity of ma- invasion of the king's colony committed to nifesting it, by becoming solicitors to the their care; or to submit their claim of exking for his approbation, and refusing to peti- emption to the decision of their sovereign. tion for an exemption; and that since the * In fine, we have the most sensible conright of exemption contended for on their be-cern for the poor distressed inhabitants of the half, could never be settled between the go frontiers. We have taken every step in our vernor and assembly, the bill transferred the power, consistent with the just rights of the cause thither where only it could be decided.” freemen of Pennsylvania, for their relief, and

The residue of this piece contains so full, we have reason to believe, that in the midst so noble, and so affecting a recapitulation of of their distresses they themselves do not wish the whole dispute, and sets the selfish conduct us to go farther. Those who would give up of the proprietaries and their deputy in so essential liberty, to purchase a little tempoclear a light, that leave must be taken to in- rary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safesert it verbatim.

ty. Such as were inclined to defend them“ Our assemblies have of late had so many selves, but unable to purchase arms and amsupply bills, and of such different kinds. re- munition, have, as we are informed, been supjected, on various pretences: some for not plied with both, as far as arms could be procomplying with obsolete occasional instruc-cured, out of monies given by the last assemtions (though other acts exactly of the same bly for the king's use; and the large supply tenor had been past since those instructions, of money offered by this bill, might enable and received the royal assent;) some for be- the governor to do every thing else that should ing inconsistent with the supposed spirit of be judged necessary for their further security, an act of parliament, when the act itself did if he shall think fit to accept it. Whether not any way affect us, being made express- he could, as he supposes, “if his hands had ly for other colonies; some for being, as the been properly strengthened, have put the progovernor was pleased to say, of an extraordi- vince into such a posture of defence, as might nary nature, without informing us wherein have prevented the present mischiefs," seems that extraordinary nature consisted; and others to us uncertain ; since late experience in our for disagreeing with new-discovered mean- neighbouring colony of Virginia (which had ings, and forced constructions of a clause in every advantage for that purpose that could the proprietary commission ; that we are now be desired) shows clearly, that it is next to really at a loss to divine what bill can possi- impossible to guard effectually an extended bly pass. The proprietary instructions are frontier, settled by scattered single families secrets to us; and we may spend much time, at two or three miles distance, so as to secure and much of the public money, in preparing them from the insidious attacks of small parand framing bills for supply, which, after all, ties of skulking murderers; but thus much is must, from those instructions, prove abortive. certain, that by refusing our bills from time If we are thus to be driven from bill to bill, to time, by which great sums were seasonawithont one solid reason afforded us; and can bly offered, he has rejected all the strength raise no money for the king's service, and re- that money could afford him; and if his lief or security of our country, till we fortu- hands are still weak or unable, he ought only nately hit on the only bill the governor is al- to blame himself, or those who have tied them. lowed to pass, or till we consent to make such • If the governor proceeds on his journey, as the governor or proprietaries direct us to and takes a quorum of his council with him, make, we see little use of assemblies in this we hope, since he retains our bill, that it will particular, and think we might as well leave be seriously and duly considered by them; it to the governor or proprietaries to make for and that the same regard for the public wel. us what supply laws they please, and save fare which induced them unanimously to adourselves and the country the expense and vise his intended journey, will induce them trouble. All debates and all reasonings are as unanimously to advise his assent. We vain, where proprietary instructions, just or agree, therefore, to his keeping the bill, earunjust, right or wrong, must inviolably be nestly requesting he would reconsider it atobserved. We have only to find out, if we tentively; and shall be ready at any time to can, what they are, and then submit and meet him for the purpose of enacting it into a obey.—But surely the proprietaries' conduct, law.” whether, as fathers of their country, or sub There is not in any voluine, the sacred jects to their king, must appear extraordinary, writings excepted, a passage to be found betwhen it is considered that they have not only ter worth the veneration of freemen, than formally refused to bear any part of our yearly this, “ those who would give up essential



liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, 1 their representatives, rather than to petition ; deserve neither liberty nor safety;" nor'could and whereas the Kentish petition humbly ima lesson of more utility have been laid at that plored, these came with a positive and imcrisis before the Pennsylvanians.

mediate demand. And as to the other message of the assem The mayor of Philadelphia took the lead in bly, which was sent up together with this, it this turbulent transaction, and found one hunwas so solid and concise that it will not bear dred and thirty-three inconsiderates, to follow an abridgment.

him, under the name of several of the princiMay it please the Governor,

pal inhabitants of that city. “We have considered the governor's mes. To the assembly it was presented, the very sage of yesterday, relating to the application day after the two messages, just recited, and pressing instances of the Indians, and are were left with the governor, " at a time when glad to find, that he is at length prevailed on a bold and barbarous enemy has advanced to declare himself ready and desirous to do within about one hundred miles of this meany thing, consistent with his duty to the tropolis, [the governor had said eighty] carrycrown, for the protection and assistance, as ing murder and desolation along with them;" well of our allies, as of the inhabitants of (thus pompously it began,) we should think this province in general." We never have, ourselves greatly wanting, &c. if we did not and we hope never shall, desire him to do thus publicly join our names to the number of any thing inconsistent with that duty. He those who are requesting you to pass a law in has it now in his power to do what he may order to put the province into a posture of dethink the exigence requires, for the service fence,” &c. of the crown, the protection of our allies, and A militia by law is the measure they afterof the inhabitants of the province. As cap- wards contend for; and to show how men tain-general, he has, by the royal charter, differ from themselves according to circumfull authority to raise men; and the bill now stances and situations, the government-docin his hands, granting sixty thousand pounds, trine here was, “ that the proper and natural will enable him to pay the expenses. We force of every country was its militia; withgrant the money cheerfully, though the tax out which no government could ever subsist itto sink it will be a heavy one; and we hope self, that no sums of money however great the bill will receive his assent immediately." could answer the purposes of defence without

With both, a bill was sent up, for supply- such a law,” &c. ing the western and northern Indians, friends And it was in these very words, they had and allies of Great Britain, with goods at more the temerity to enforce their point. easy rates, supporting an agent, or agents “ We hope we shall always be enabled to among them, and preventing abuses in the preserve that respect to you, which we would Indian trade, to which the governor's assent willingly pay to those who are the faithful was desired.

representatives of the freemen of this province. The governor's answer was, “that he But, on the present occasion, you will forgive would take the same into consideration, and us, gentlemen, if we assume characters somegive it all the despatch in his power." But thing higher than that of humble suitors, whatever he was pleased to say, both his praying for the defence of our lives and prohead and his heart were at this time taken perties, as a mattter of grace and favour on up with other purposes; how just in them- your side; you will permit us to make a poselves, how agreeable to his commission, and sitive and immediate demand of it, as a inatter how salutary to the province, the sequel will of perfect and unalienable right on our own most properly explain.

parts, both by the laws of God and man. In the cause of this long and manifold con

As also, again afterwards. troversy, the proceedings of parliament had “Upon the whole, gentlemen, we must be been frequently referred to; and the rights of permitted to repeat our demand, that you will the house of commons as frequently urged by immediately frame and offer a law for the deway of sanction for the claims of the assembly, fence of the province, in such a manner as the And now the proprietary-party or governor's present exigency requires. The time does men, (for wherever there is influence, there not permit many hands to be put to this resuch creatures will always be found) being presentation; but if numbers are necessary, desirous also in their turn, to avail themselves we trust we shall neither want a sufficient of their reading, had recourse, it may be pre- number of hands nor hearts, to support and sumed, to the famous Kentish petition in the second us, till we finally obtain such a reasonyear 1701, as a proper precedent for them to able demand.” proceed upon, in hectoring the assembly into To a committee it was referred, together such measures as they could not be prevailed with the address from certain of the people upon to adopt by any other means.

called quakers, (recommending peaceable Willing, however, to give their copy the measures, and insinuating, that otherwise air of an original, they chose to represent to many as well as themselves would be under a

necessity to suffer rather than to pay) and that What the doctrine was, established in the concerning unnecessary disputes with the go- province, concerning suspending clauses, is vernor, as containing sundry matters of an ex- already before the reader, and consequently traordinary nature, for consideration; and in the inference, in case the assembly had been the mean time, the house plyed the governor weak enough to swallow the bait thus hung with message after message, concerning the out for them.—But they were neither to be so bill for regulating their Indian trade, and that amused by him, nor so terrified by his allies for the supply. Both parties apparently without doors, as either to forego the use of wanted to gain time. It was equally danger- their understandings, or to act with their eyes ous for the assembly to provoke or parley with open as if they had no eyes at all. a multitude; and nothing but new matter Having, therefore, sufficiently canvassed from the frontier could give the governor any the matter, they first resolved, that they would new advantage over them.

adhere to their bill without admitting any of His answer to the assembly on the 14th of the governor's proposed amendments; and November was, “ That he had given the bill then, to make him sensible, that they also had relating to the Indian trade to his clerk to tran- some artillery to ply, as well as he, they farscribe;" and that, as to the other, “ He was ther resolved, “That, in case the governor then reconsidering it according to the request should persist in refusing his assent to their of the house; and when he came to any re- bill, which was so just and equitable in its solution upon it, the house might expect his nature, and so absolutely necessary at that final answer; but he did not know when that time for the welfare of the British interest in would be."

America, after he should receive the answer At last, on the 17th, that is to say, after of the house to his message then under consihaving been again quickened by another mes deration, they would make their appeal to the sage, he sent down the latter with a paper of throne by remonstrance, humbly beseeching amendments, and a written message different his majesty to cause their present governor to both in matter and manner from, but alto- be removed, or take such other measures as gether as illusory as the former. For, having might prevent the fatal consequences likely maintained, as before, that he was not author- to ensue from his conduct.” ized by his commission to pass such a bill, and This vote was unanimous: and they faryet agreed with the assembly, that their dis- ther took notice in their minutes of some dispute must, in the end, be determined by his satisfaction expressed at an Indian treaty held inajesty, he changed his objection from the in the year 1753, by one of the chiefs of the thing to the mode, which he argued was un- Shawanese, and some promise made to him on precedented, and, in effect, impracticable: for, the behalf of the proprietaries, which had not he said, “ The king could not properly give been complied with. his assent to some parts of an act and reject The governor, on the other hand, sent down others; and he then suggested another expe- the secretary with intelligence of another masdient, namely, for the house to adopt his own sacre committed by the Indians at a place callamendments sent down with the bill, by which ed Tulpehocken ; and in a written message the proprietary estate was entirely exempt- farther observed on the supply bill, he had reed; and to prepare and pass another bill, turned, " that no money could be issued in whereby the said estate was to be taxed in virtue ofit till the next January ; before which the same proportion with every other estate, the greatest part of the province might be laid only not by assessors chosen by the people, waste, and the people destroyed or driven from but by commissioners reciprocally chosen by their habitations; thence proceeded to dehimself and the assembly, and also named in mand an immediate supply of money; and conthe bill ; together with a suspending clause, cluded with a signification, that, should they that the same should not take effect till it had enable him to raise money on the present ocreceived his majesty's approbation. All was casion, a law founded on the act of parliament closed with a sort of protestation, that nothing for punishing mutiny and desertion, would be but an implicit confidence in his majesty's absolutely necessary for the government of goodness and justice, that he would disapprove them, when not joined with his majesty's reit if it was wrong, and his own most sincere gular troops.” and ardent desire of doing every thing in his This was no sooner read than the house adpower for the good and security of the people justed their answer to his former message, committed to his care, could have induced him in which “ They maintained the propriety of to pass a law in any shape for taxing the said their bill in point of mode as well as matter : estate; and a predecision, that if they were that conditional or alternative clauses were equally sincere and equally affected with the far from being unprecedented; that the act distresses and miseries of their bleeding coun was so constructed as to be complete either try, they could have no objection to this me-way; that, on the contrary, in pursuing the thod of affording immediate succour and re-other method recommended, of passing two lief."

bills diametrically contradictory to each other,

« AnteriorContinuar »