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would not be a stable one, or such as could be 4. The Indian trade would be better regudepended on: for if only one colony should, on lated by the union of the whole than by the any disgust withdraw itself, others might think partial unions. And as Canada is chiefly supit unjust and unequal that they, by continuing ported by that trade, if it could be drawn into in the union, should be at the expense of de- the hands of the English (as it might be if fending a colony, which refused to bear its pro- the Indians were supplied on moderate terms, portionable part, and would therefore one after and by honest traders appointed by and acting another, withdraw, till the whole crumbled for the public) that alone would contribute into its original parts. Therefore the commis- greatly to the weakening of our enemies. sioners came to another previous resolution, 5. The establishing of new colonies westviz. That it was necessary the union should ward on the Ohio and the lakes (a matter of be established by act of parliament. considerable importance to the increase of
They then proceeded to sketch out a plan British trade and power, to the breaking that of union, which they did in a plain and con- of the French, and to the protection and secucise manner, just sufficient to show their sen- rity of our present colonies,) would best be timents of the kind of union that would best carried on by a joint union. suit the circumstances of the colonies, be 6. It was also thought, that by the frequent most agreeable to the people, and most ef- meetings together of commissioners or reprefectually promote his majesty's service, and sentatives from all the colonies, the circumthe general interest of the British empire. stances of the whole would be better known, This was respectfully sent to the assemblies and the good of the whole better provided for; of the several colonies for their consideration, and that the colonies would by this connexion and to receive such alterations and improve- learn to consider themselves, not as so many ments as they should think fit and necessary; independent states, but as members of the after which it was proposed to be transmitted same body; and thence be more ready to afto England to be perfected, and the establish- ford assistance and support to each other, and ment of it there humbly solicited.
to make diversions in favour even of the most This was as much as the commissioners distant, and to join cordially in any expedition could do.*
for the benefit of all against the common
enemy. II. Reasons against partial Unions. These were the principal reasons and moIt was proposed by some of the commis- tives for forming the plan of union as it stands. sioners, to form the colonies into two or three To which may be added this, that as the union distinct unions; but for these reasons that of theproposal was dropped even by those that made
The remainder of this article was lost. it: viz. 1. In all cases where the strength of the
III. Plan of a proposed Union of the several
Colonies of Massachusett's Bay, New whole was necessary to be used against the
Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, enemy, there would be the same difficulty in
New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, degree, to bring the several unions to unite
Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and together, as now the several colonies; and
South Carolina, for their mutual Defence consequently the same delays on our part and advantage to the enemy.
and Security, and for extending the Bri2. Each union would separately be weaker
tish Settlements in North America, with than when joined by the whole, obliged to
the Reasons and Motives for each Article exert more force, be oppressed by the ex
of the Plan- as far as could be remem
bered.] pense, and the enemy less deterred from attacking it.
It is proposed – That humble application be 3. Where particular colonies have selfish
made for an act of parliament of Great Britain, views, as New York with regard to Indian by virtue of which one general government trade and lands; or are less exposed, being may be formed in America, including all the covered by others, as New Jersey, Rhode Is said colonies, within and under which
governland, Connecticut, Maryland; or have parti- ment each colony may retain its present concular whims and prejudices against warlike stitution, except in the particulars wherein a measures in general, as Pennsylvania, where change may be directed by the said act, as
hereafter follows.* the quakers predominate; such colonies would have more weight in a partial union, and be better able to oppose and obstruct the PRESIDENT-GENERAL, AND GRAND COUNCIL. measures necessary for the general good, than That the said general government be adwhere they are swallowed up in the general ministered by a president-general, to be apunion.
pointed and supported by the crown ; and * Dr. Davenant was so well convinced of the expedi * The reader may perceive, by the difference of the ency of an union of the colonies, that he recites, at full Italic and Roman type, which is the text of the plan, length, a plan contrived, as he says, with good judg. and which the reasons and motives mentioned in the ment for the purpose. Davenant, Vol. I. p. 40, 41 of title. They are thus printed for perspicuity and for conVOL. II. ...Z
sir C. Whitworth's edition.
a grand council, to be chosen by the repre- 1 satisfaction, and that the colonies could not be sentatives of the people of the several colonies easy under such a power in governors, and met in their respective assemblies.
such an infringement of what they take to be It was thought that it would be best the pre- English liberty. sident-general should be supported as well as " Besides, the giving a share in the choice appointed by the crown; that so all disputes of the grand council would not be equal with between him and the grand council concern- respect to all the colonies as their constituing his salary might be prevented; as such tions differ. In some, both governor and disputes have been frequently of mischievous council are appointed by the crown. In consequence in particular colonies, especially others, they are both appointed by the proin time of public danger. The quit-rents of prietors. In some, the people have a share in crown-lands in America might in a short time the choice of the council; in others, both gobe sufficient for this purpose.—The choice of vernment and council are wholly chosen by members for the grand council is placed in the the people. But the house of representatives house of representatives of each government, is every where chosen by the people; and in order to give the people a share in this new therefore, placing the right of choosing the general government, as the crown has its grand council in the representatives is equal share by the appointment of the president-ge- with respect to all. neral.
" That the grand council is intended to reBut it being proposed by the gentlemen of present all the several houses of representathe council of New York, and some other tives of the colonies, as a house of representcounsellors among the commissioners, to alter atives doth the several towns or counties of a the plan in this particular, and to give the colony. Could all the people of a colony be governors and council of the several provinces consulted and unite in public measures, a a share in the choice of the grand council, or house of representatives would be needless, at least a power of approving and confirming, and could all the assemblies conveniently conor of disallowing the choice made by the sult and unite in general measures, the grand house of representatives, it was said :
council would be unnecessary. “That the government or constitution pro “ That a house of commons or the house of posed to be formed by the plan, consists of representatives, and the grand council, are two branches; a president-general appointed thus alike in their nature and intention. And by the crown, and a council chosen by the as it would seem improper that the king or people, or by the people's representatives, house of lords should have a power of disalwhich is the same thing.
lowing or appointing members of the house of “ That by a subsequent article, the council commons;-so likewise, that a governor and chosen by the people can effect nothing with council appointed by the crown should have a out the consent of the president-general ap- power of disallowing or appointing members pointed by the crown; the crown possesses of the grand council (who, in this constitutherefore full one half of the power of this tion, are to be the representatives of the peoconstitution.
ple.) “That in the British constitution, the crown “ If the governors and councils therefore is supposed to possess but one third, the lords were to have a share in the choice of any that having their share.
are to conduct this general government, it “ That this constitution seemed rather more should seem more proper that they choose the favourable for the crown.
president-general. But this being an office of “ That it is essential to English liberty, great trust and importance to the nation, it that the subject should not be taxed but by his was thought better to be filled by the imme. own consent, or the consent of his elected re- diate appointment of the crown. presentatives.
“The power proposed to be given by the “That taxes to be laid and levied by this plan to the grand council is only a concentraproposed constitution will be proposed and tion of the powers of the several assemblies in agreed to by the representatives of the peo- certain points for the general welfare; as the ple, if the plan in this particular be preserved : power of the president-general, is of the pow
“ But if the proposed alteration should take ers of the several governors in the same place, it seemed as if matters may be so ma- points. naged, as that the crown shall finally have the “ And as the choice therefore of the grand appointment not only of the president-general
, council, by the representatives of the people, but of a majority of the grand council; for neither gives the people any new powers, nor seven out of eleven governors and councils are diminishes the power of the crown, it was appointed by the crown:
thought and hoped the crown would not disAnd so the people in all the colonies would approve of it.” in effect be taxed by their governors.
Upon the whole, the commissioners were " It was therefore apprehended, that such of opinion, that the choice was most properly alterations of the plan would give great dis-placed in the representatives of the people.
ELECTION OF MEMBERS.
A AO CON
ton to Philadelphia and New York; and from That within months after the passing Rhode Island to New York through the sound, such act, the house of representatives, that in two or three days; and from New York to happen to be sitting within that time, or that Philadelphia, by water and land, in two days, shall be especially for that purpose convened, by stage boats and wheel carriages that set may and shall choose members for the grand out every other day. The journey from council, in the following proportion, that is Charleston to Philadelphia may likewise be
facilitated by boats running up Chesapeake bay Massachusett's Bay,
7 three hundred miles. But if the whole jourNew Hampshire,
2 ney be performed on horseback, the most disConnecticut,
5 tant members (viz. the two from New HampRhode Island,
shire and from South Carolina) may probably New York,
render themselves at Philadelphia in fifteen New Jersey,
3 or twenty days; the majority may be there in Pennsylvania,
much less time. Maryland, Virginia,
7 North Carolina,
That there shall be a new election of the South Carolina,
members of the grand council every three
years; and on the death or resignation of
48 It was thought, that if the least colony was any member, his place should be supplied by allowed two, and the others in proportion, the a new choice at the next sitting of the as
sembly of the colony he represented. number would be very great, and the expense Some colonies have annual assemblies, some heavy; and that less than two would not be con continue during a governor's pleasure; three venient, as a single person, being by any ac
years was thought a reasonable medium, as cident prevented appearing at the meeting: affording a new member time to improve himthe colony he ought to appear for would not self in the business, and to act after such imbe represented. That as the choice was not
provement; and yet giving opportunities, freimmediately popular, they would be generally men of good abilities for business, and men of quently enough, to change him, if he has mis
behaved. reputation for integrity; and that forty-eight such men might be a number sufficient. But, though it was thought reasonable, that each PROPORTION OF MEMBERS AFTER THE FIRST colony should have a share in the representative body in some degree, according to the That after the first three years, when the proportion it contributed to the general trea- proportion of money arising out of each colosury: yet the proportion of wealth or power ny to the general treasury can be known, the of the colonies is not to be judged by the pro- number)of members to be chosen for each coportion here fixed; because it was at first lony shalt from time to time, in all ensuing agreed, th
the greatest colony should not elections, be regulated by that proportion (yet have more than seven members, nor the least so as that the number to be chosen by any less than two: and the setting these propor- one province be not more than seven, nor tions between these two extremes was not less than two.) nicely attended to, as it would find itself, after
By a subsequent article it is proposed, that the first election from the sums brought into the general council shall lay and levy such the treasury, as by a subsequent article.
general duties, as to them may appear most equal and least burdensome, &c. Suppose,
for instance, they lay a small duty or excise —who shall meet for the first time at the on some commodity imported into or made in city of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, being the colonies, and pretty generally and equally called by the president-general as soon as used in all of them; as rum perhaps, or wine : conveniently may be after his appointment. the yearly produce of this duty or excise, if
Philadelphia was named as being the nearer fairly collected, would be in some colonies the centre of the colonies, where the commis- greater, in others, less, as the colonies are sioners would be well and cheaply accommo- greater or smaller. When the collector's acdated. The high-roads, through the whole counts are brought in, the proportions will extent, are for the most part very good, in appear; and from them its proposed to reguwhich forty or fifty miles a day may very late the proportion of representatives to be well be and frequently are travelled. Great chosen at the next general election, within the part of the way may likewise be gone by limits however of seven and two. These water. In summer time, the passages are numbers may therefore vary in course of frequently performed in a week from Charles- years, as the colonies may in the growth and
PLACE OF FIRST MEETING.
increase of people. And thus the quota of tax dent-general, if not provided against : and the from each colony would naturally vary with inconvenience and hardship would be greater its circumstances; therebypreventing all in the general government than in particular disputes and dissatisfaction about the just pro- colonies, in proportion to the distance the portions due from each ; which might other members must be from home, during sittings, wise produce pernicious consequences, and and the long journies some of them must nedestroy the harmony and good agreement that cessarily take. ought to subsist between the several parts of the union.
That the members of the grand council MEETINGS OF THE GRAND COUNCIL, AND CALL. shall be allowed for their service ten shil
That the grand council shall meet once in lings sterling per diem, during their session every year, and oftener if occasion require, at and journey to and from the place of meetsuch time and place as they shall adjourn to ing ; twenty miles to be reckoned a day's at the last preceding meeting, or as they shall journey. be called to meet at by the president-general It was thought proper to allow some wages, on any emergency; he having first obtain- lest the expense might deter some suitable ed in writing the consent of seven of the persons from the service ;-and not to allow members to such call, and sent due and time- too great wages, lest unsuitable persons ly notice to the whole.
should be tempted to cabal for the employment, It was thought, in establishing and govern- for the sake of gain. Twenty miles was set ing new colonies or settlements, regulating down as a day's journey, to allow for acciIndian trade, Indian treaties, &c. there would dental hindrances on the road, and the greatbe every year sufficient business arise to re- er expenses of travelling than residing at the quire at least one meeting, and at such meet- place of meeting. ing many things might be suggested for the benefit of all the colonies. This annual meet- ASSENT OF PRESIDENT-GENERAL AND HIS DUTY. ing may either be at a time or place certain, That the assent of the president-general to be fixed by the president-general and grand be requisite to all acts of the grand council ; council at their first meeting; or left at liber- and that it be his office and duty to cause ty, to be at such time and place as they shall them to be carried into execution. adjourn to, or be called to meet at by the pre The assent of the president-general to all sident-general.
acts of the grand council was made necesIn time of war it seems convenient, that sary, in order to give the crown its due share the meeting should be in that colony which of influence in this government, and connect is nearest the seat of action.
it with that of Great Britain. The presidentThe power of calling them on any emer- general, besides one half of the legislative gency seemed necessary to be vested in the power, hath in his hands the whole executive president-general; but that such power might power. not be wantonly used to harass the members, and oblige them to make frequent long POWER OF PRESIDENT-GENERAL AND GRAND journies to little purpose, the consent of seven at least to such call was supposed a convenient guard.
That the president-general, with the ad
vice of the grand council, hold or direct all CONTINUANCE.
Indian treaties, in which the general interest That the grand council have power to of the colonies may be concerned ; and make choose their speaker; and shall neither be peace or declare war with Indian nations. dissolved, prorogued, nor continued sitting The power of making peace or war with longer than six weeks at one time, without Indian nations is at present supposed to be in their own consent or the special command of every colony, and is expressly granted to the crown.
some by charter, so that no new power is hereThe speaker should be presented for appro by intended to be granted to the colonies. bation ; it being convenient, to prevent mis- But as, in consequence of this power, one counderstandings and disgusts, that the mouth lony might make peace with a nation that of the council saould be a person agreeable, another was justly engaged in war with ; or if possible, both to the council and president- make war on slight occasions without the general.
concurrence or approbation of neighbouring Governors have sometimes wantonly exer- colonies, greatly endangered by it; or make cised the power of proroguing or continuing particular treaties of neutrality in case of a the sessions of assemblies, merely to harass general war, to their own private advantage the members and compel a compliance; and in trade, by supplying the common enemy; sometimes dissolve them on slight disgusts. of all which there have been instances-it This it was feared might be done by the presi- was thought better, to have all treaties of a
COUNCIL: TREATIES OF PEACE AND WAR.
general nature under a general direction; Very little of the land in those grants is yet that so the good of the whole may be consult- purchased of the Indians. ed and provided for.
It is much cheaper to purchase of them, than
to take and maintain the possession by force : INDIAN TRADE.
for they are generally very reasonable in their That they make such laws as they judge demands for land ;* and the expense of guardnecessary for regulating all Indian trade.
ing a large frontier against their incursions is Many quarrels and wars have arisen be- vastly great; because all must be guarded, tween the colonies and Indian nations, through and always guarded, as we know not where the bad conduct of traders who cheat the In- or when to expect them.t dians after making them drunk, &c. to the great expense of the colonies, both in blood
NEW SETTLEMENTS. and treasure. Particular colonies are so in
That they make new settlements on such terested in the trade, as not to be willing to purchases, by granting lands in the king's admit such a regulation as might be best for name, reserving a quit-rent to the crown for the whole ; and therefore it was thought best the use of the general treasury. under a general direction.
It is supposed better that there should be
one purchaser than many; and that the crown INDIAN PURCHASES.
should be that purchaser, or the union in the That they make all purchases, from In- name of the crown. By this means the bardians for the crown, of lands not now with gains may be more easily made, the price not in the bounds of particular colonies, or that enhanced by numerous bidders, future disshall not be within their bounds when some putes about private Indian purchases, and moof them are reduced to more convenient di- nopolies of vast tracts to particular persons mensions.
(which are prejudicial to the settlement and Purchases from the Indians, made by pri- peopling of the country) prevented; and the vate persons, have been attended with many land being again granted in small tracts to the inconveniences. They have frequently in- settlers, the quit-rents reserved may in time terfered, and occasioned uncertainty of titles, become a fund for support of government, for many disputes and expensive law-suits, and defence of the country, ease of taxes, &c. hindered the settlement of the land so dis Strong forts on the lakes, the Ohio, &c. may, puted. Then the Indians have been cheated at the same time they secure our present fronby such private purchases, and discontent and tiers, serve to defend new colonies settled unwars have been the consequence. These der their protection; and such colonies would would be prevented by public fair purchases. also mutually defend and support such forts,
Several of the colony charters in America and better secure the friendship of the far Inextend their bounds to the South Sea, which dians. may be perhaps three or four thousand miles A particular colony has scarce strength in length to one or two hundred miles in enough to extend itself by new settlements, breadth. It is supposed they must in time be at so great a distance from the old : þut the reduced to dimensions more convenient for the joint force of the union might suddenly estacommon purposes of
*“ Dr. Franklin (says Mr. Kalm the Swede,) and ** Baron Meseares, in his account of the Proceedings several other gentlemen, frequently told me, that a at Quebec, for obtaining an Assembly, says, “ The vast powerful Indian, who possessed Rhode Island, had sold enlargement of the province of Quebec, by adding to it it to the English for a pair of spectacles ; it is large a new territory that contains, according to lord Hills. enough for a prince's domain, and makes a peculiar goborough's estimation of it, five hundred and eleven vernment at present." See Kalm's Travels into North millions of acres (that is, more land than Spain, Italy, America, Vol. I. p. 386, 387. France, and Germany put together, and most of it good Swedes first arrived, they bought land at a very incon. land) is a measure that would require an ample dis- siderable price. For a piece of baize, or a pot full of cussion.”—The motives assigned by the act regulating brandy, or the like, they could get a piece of ground the government of Quebec, are bere quoted-By the which at present would be worth more iban 2907. ster. arrangements made by the royal proclamation, a very ling." Ib. vol. II. p. 118.-The truth is, that the InJarge extent of (outlying] country, within which there dians considered their lands as mere hunting manors, are several colonies and settlements of the subjects of and not as farms. France, who claimed to remain therein under the faith † To guard against the incursions of the Indians, a of the said treaty, was left without any provision be plan was sent over to America, it was said by authoing made for the administration of civil government rity, suggesting the expediency of clearing away the therein: i. e. a few Indian traders were a pretext for woods and bushes from a tract of land, a mile in breadth, this appropriation of a tract of country, which, accord and extending along the back of the colonies. Unfor: ing to the minister's estimate, was more than thirteen tunately, besides the large expense of the undertaking times larger than England and Wales united, nearly (which, if one acre cost 21. sterling, and six hundred and one hundred and lwenty-eight times larger than Ja- forty acres make a square mile, is 128,0002. first cost for maica, almost one eighth part of Europe, and consider. every hundred miles) it was forgotten, that ihe Indiaris, ably more than one thirty-eighth part of the whole ha like other people, knew the difference between day and bitable earth.“Now all the inhabitants of the province night, and that a mile of advance and another of retreat of Quebec,” says this act, “ amounted at the conquest were nothing to the celerity of such an enemy. This to above sixty-five thousand (only,] professing the re- plan, was the work of Tucker, dean of Gloucester, a conligion of the church of Rome, and enjoying an esta. spicuous writer on American affairs, before and during blished form of constitution and systein of laws." the revolution.
“ At the time when the