« AnteriorContinuar »
LAWS TO GOVERN THEM.
blish a new colony or two in those parts, or ex Particulur colonies are at present backward tend an old colony to particular passes, greatly to build forts at their own expense, which they to the security of our present frontiers, increase say will be equally useful to their neighbourof trade and people, breaking off the French ing colonies; who refuse to join, on a precommunication between Canada and Louisi- sumption that such forts will be built and kept ana, and speedy settlement of the intermediate up, though they contribute nothing. This unlands.
just conduct weakens the whole; but the forts The
power of settling new colonies is there being for the good of the whole, it was thought fore thought a valuable part of the plan, and best they should be built and maintained by what cannot so well be executed by two unions the whole, out of the common treasury. as by one.
In the time of war, small vessels of force are sometimes necessary in the colonies to
scour the coast of small privateers. These That they make laws for regulating and being provided by the union will be an adgoverning such new settlements, till the crown vantage in turn to the colonies which are shall think fit to form them into particular situated on the sea, and whose frontiers on governments.
the land-side, being covered by other colonies, The making of laws suitable for the new reap but little immediate benefit from the adcolonies, it was thought, would be properly vanced forts. vested in the president-general and grand council; under whose protection they must at
POWER TO MAKE LAWS, LAY DUTIES, &c. first necessarily be, and who would be well That for these purposes they have power acquainted with their circumstances, as hav- to make laws, and lay and levy such general ing settled them. 6 When they are become duties, imports, or taxes, as to them shall apsufficiently populous, they may by the crown pear most equal and just (considering the be formed into complete and distinct govern- ability and other circumstances of the inhaments.
bitants in the several colonies,) and such as The appointment of a sub-president by the may be collected with the least inconvenience crown, to take place in case of the death or to the people ; rather discouraging luxury, absence of the president-general, would per- than loading industry with unnecessary burhaps be an improvement of the plan; and if dens. all the governors of particular provinces were The laws which the president-general and to be formed into a standing council of state, grand council are impowered to make are for the advice and assistance of the president- such only as shall be necessary for the govern. general, it might be another considerable im- ment of the settlements; the raising, regu. provement.
lating, and paying soldiers for the general
service; the regulating of Indian trade; and RAISE SOLDIERS, AND EQUIP VESSELS, &c.
laying and collecting the general duties and That they raise and pay soldiers and build taxes. They should also have a power to forts for the defence of any of the colonies, restrain the exportation of provisions to the and equip vessels of force to guard the enemy from any of the colonies, on particular coasts and protect the trade on the ocean, occasions, in time of war.) But is it not inlakes,* or great rivers ; but they shall not tended that they may interfere with the conimpress men in any colony without the con- stitution and government of the particular sent of the legislature.
colonies; who are to be left to their own laws, It was thought, that quotas of men, to be and to lay, levy, and apply their own taxes as raised and paid by the several colonies, and before. joined for any public service, could not always
GENERAL TREASURER AND PARTICULAR TREAbe got together with the necessary expedition. For instance, suppose one thousand men should be wanted in New Hampshire on any
That they may appoint a general treasuremergency; to fetch them by fifties and hun er and particular treasurer in each governdreds out of every colony, as far as South ment, when necessary; and from time to time Carolina, would be inconvenient, the trans- may order the sums in the treasuries of each portation chargeable, and the occasion perhaps government into the general treasury; or passed before they could be asseinbled ; and draw on them for special payments, as they therefore that it would be best to raise them find most convenient. (by offering bounty-money and pay) near the
The treasurers here meant are only for the place where they would be wanted, to be dis- general funds, and not for the particular funds charged again when the service should be over. of each colony, which remain in the hands of
their own treasurers at their own disposal. * "According to a plan which had been proposed by governor Pownall, and approved of by congreso."-Administration of the Colonies, vol. ii. p. 148.
Yet no money to issue byt by joint orders
MONEY HOW TO ISSUE.
OFFICERS HOW APPOINTED.
of the president-general and grand council ; fore, if the crown appointed a vice-president, except where sums have been appropriated to to take place on the death or absence of the particular purposes, and the president-gene- president-general: for so we should be more ral is previously impowered by an act to draw sure of a suitable person at the head of the such sums.
colonies. On the death or absence of both, To prevent misapplication of the money, or the speaker to take place (or rather the eldest even application that might be dissatisfactory king's-governor) till his majesty's pleasure be to the crown or the people, it was thought known. necessary, to join the president-general and grand council in all issues of money.
That all military commission officers, wheACCOUNTS.
ther for land or sea service, to act under this That the general accounts shall be yearly general constilution, shall be nominated by settled and reported to the several assemblies. the president-general ; but the approbation of
By communicating the accounts yearly to the grand council is to be obtained before each assembly, they will be satisfied of the they receive their commissions. And all civil prudent and honest conduct of their represent officers are to be nominated by the grand atives in the grand council.
ouncil, and to receive the president-gene
ral's approbation before they officiate. QUORUM
It was thought it might be very prejudicial That a quorum of the grand council, im- to the service, to have officers appointed unpowered to act with the president-general, do known to the people, or unacceptable, the geconsist of twenty-five members ; among whom nerality of Americans serving willingly under there shall be one or more from a majority officers they know: and not caring to engage of the colonies.
in the service under strangers, or such as are The quorum seems large, but it was often appointed by governors through favour thought it would not be satisfactory to the co- or interest. The service here meant, is not lonies in general, to have matters of import- the stated settled service in standing troops ; ance to the whole transacted by a smaller num- but any sudden and short service, either for ber, or even by this number of twenty-five, defence of our colonies, or invading the eneunless there were among them one at least my's country; (such as, the expedition to from a majority of the colonies; because other- Cape Breton in the last war; in which many wise, the whole quorum being made up of substantial farmers and tradesmen engaged as members from three or four colonies at one common soldiers, under officers of their own end of the union, something might be done country, for whom they had an esteem and afthat would not be equal with respect to the fection; who would not have engaged in a rest, and thence dissatisfaction and discords standing army, or under officers from Engmight rise to the prejudice of the whole. land.) It was therefore thought best, to give
the council the power of approving the of
ficers, which the people will look upon as a That the laws made by them for the pur- great security of their being good men. And poses aforesaid shall not be repugnant, but, without some such provision as this, it was as near as may be, agreeable to the laws of thought the expense of engaging men in the England, and shall be transmitted to the service on any emergency would be much king in council for approbation, as soon as greater, and the number who could be inmay be after their pussing; and if not dis- duced to engage much less; and that therefore approved within three years after present- it would be most for the king's service and ation, to remain in force.
general benefit of the nation, that the preroThis was thought necessary for the satis- gative should relax a little in this particular faction of the crown, to preserve the connex- throughout all the colonies in America; as it ion of the parts of the British empire with had already done much more in the charters the whole, of the members with the head, and of some particular colonies, viz. Connecticut to induce greater care and circumspection in and Rhode Island. making of the laws, that they be good in
The civil officers will be chiefly treasurers themselves and for the general benefit.
and collectors of taxes; and the suitable persons are most likely to be known by the
council. That in case of the death of the presidentgeneral, the speaker of the grand council for the time being shall succeed, and be vested But in case of vacancy by death, or removwith the same powers and authorities, to con- al of any officer civil or military under this tinue till the king's pleasure be known. constitution, the governor of the province in
It might be better, perhaps, as was said be- which such vacancy happens may appoint,
LAWS TO BE TRANSMITTED.
DEATH OF THE PRESIDENT-GENERAL.
VACANCIES HOW SUPPLIED.
till the pleasure of the president-general and plan, with thanks to your excellency for comgrand council can be known.
municating them. The vacancies were thought best supplied I apprehend, that excluding the people of by the governor in each province, till a new the colonies from all share in the choice of the appointment can be regularly made; other grand council will give extreme dissatisfacwise the service might suffer before the meet- tion; as well as the taxing them by act of ing of the president-general and grand couny parliament, where they have no representacil.
tion. It is very possible, that this general
government might be as well and faithfully EACH COLONY MAY DEFEND ITSELF ON EMER administered without the people, as with them;
but where heavy burdens are to be laid upon That the particular military as well as them, it has been found useful, to make it as civil establishments in each colony remain in much as possible their own act; for they bear their present state, the general constitution better, when they have, or think they have, notwithstanding; and that on sudden emer-some share in the direction; and when any gencies any colɔny may defend itself, and lay public measures are generally grievous, or the accounts of expense thence arising be- even distasteful, to the people, the wheels of fore the president-general and general coun-government move more heavily. cil, who
may allow and order payment of the | same, as far as they judge such accounts just and reasonable.
II. Letter to the same ; concerning direct Otherwise the union of the whole would Taxes in the Colonies imposed without conweaken the parts, contrary to the design of sent, indirect Taxes, and the Albany Plan the union. The accounts are to be judged of
of Union. by the president-general and grand council,
Wednesday morning. and allowed if found reasonable: this was Sir, -I mentioned it yesterday to your thought necessary to encourage colonies to excellency as my opinion, that excluding the defend themselves, as the expense would be people of the colonies from all share in the light when borne by the whole; and also to choice of the grand council would probably check imprudent and lavish expense in such give extreme dissatisfaction, as well as the defences.*
taxing them by act of parliament, where they have no representation. In matters of general concern to the people, and especially
where burdens are to be laid upon them; it ALBANY PAPERS-continued.
is of use to consider, as well what they will be 1. Letter to governor Shirley, concerning the apt to think and say, as what they ought to
Imposition of direct Taxes upon the Colo- think: I shall therefore, as your excellency nies, without their consent.t
requires it of me, briefly mention what of
either kind occurs to me on this occasion.
Tuesday morning. Sir,—I return you the loose sheets of the tice, that the body of the people in the colonies
First, they will say, and perhaps with jus
are as loyal, and as firmly attached to the * This plan of union was rejected, and another posed by the English minister, which had for its object, present constitution, and reigning family, as taking power from the pcople in the colonies, in order to any subjects in the king's dominions. give it to the crown.
That there is no reason to doubt the readi| These letters to governor Shirley first appeared in the London Chronicle for Feb. 6–8, 1766, with an in- ness and willingness of the representatives troduction signed A Lover of Britain. In the beginning they may choose, to grant from time to time of the year 1776, they were republished in Almon's Re: such supplies for the defence of the country, subject of them in the words of one of these writers is abilities will allow. the signature of A Mourner over our Calamities. The as shall be judged necessary, so far as their
“The Albany Plan of Union was sent to the government here for approbation : had it been ap
That the people in the colonies, who are to proved and established by authority from hence, Eng. feel the immediate mischiefs of invasion and fish America thought itself sufficiently able to cope with the French, without other assistance ; several of conquest by an enemy, in the loss of their the colonies having alone, in former wars, withstood estates, lives, and liberties, are likely to be their whole power, unassisted not only by the mother better judges of the quantity of forces necesThe plan, however, was not approved here ; a New one sary to be raised and maintained, forts to be was formed instead of it; which proposed, that the go- built and supported, and of their own abilities bers of their respective councils, should assemble, and to bear the expense than the pırliament of concert measures for the defence of the whole, erect forts England, at so great a distance. where they judged proper, and raise what troops they thought necessary, with power to draw on the treasury
That governors often come to the colonies here for the sums that should be wanted, and the trea. merely to make fortunes, with which they sury to he reimbursed by a tax laid on the colonies by act intend to return to Britain; are not always of parliament”-This New Plan being communicated by governor Shirley to Dr. Franklin then in Boston,
men of the best abilities or integrity; have and produced this correspondence.
many of them no estates here, nor any natural
connexions with us, that should make them expeditions, might be grievous and ruinous heartily concerned for our welfare; and might to the people, and would put them upon a possibly be fond of raising and keeping up footing with the subjects of France in Canada, more forces than necessary, from the profits that now groan under such oppression from accruing to themselves, and to make provision their governor, who for two years past has for their friends and dependents.
harassed them with long and destructive That the counsellors in most of the colonies, marches to Ohio. being appointed by the crown, on the recom That if the colonies in a body may be well mendation of governors, are often persons of governed by governors and councils appointed small estates, frequently dependent on the by the crown, without representatives; pargovernors for offices, and therefore too much ticular colonies may as well, or better be so under influence.
governed; a tax may be laid upon them all That there is therefore great reason to be by act of parliament for support of governjealous of a power, in such governors and ment; and their assemblies may be dismissed councils, to raise such sums as they shall as an useless part of the constitution. judge necessary, by drafts on the lords of the That the powers proposed by the Albany treasury, to be afterwards laid on the colo- plan of union, to be vested in a grand counnies by act of parliament, and paid by the cil representative of the people, even with repeople here; since they might abuse it, by gard to military matters, are not so great, as projecting useless expeditions, harassing the those which the colonies of Rhode Island and people, and taking them from their labour to Connecticut are entrusted with by their charexecute such projects, merely to create offices ters, and have never abused; for by this plan, and employments, and gratify their depend the president-general is appointed by the ents, and divide profits.
crown, and controls all by his negative; but That the parliament of England is at a in those governments, the people choose the great distance, subject to be misinformed and governor, and yet allow him no negative. misled by such governors and councils, whose That the British colonies bordering on the united interests might probably secure them French are properly frontiers of the British against the effect of any complaint from hence. empire; and the frontiers of an empire are
That it is supposed an undoubted right of properly defended at the joint expense of the Englishmen, not to be taxed but by their own body of the people in such empire:-it would consent, given through their representatives. now be thought hard by act of parliament to
That the colonies have no representatives oblige the Cinque Ports or sea coasts of Briin par 'ament.
tain, to maintain the whole navy, because Th, to propose taxing them by parliament, they are more immediately defended by it, and refuse them the liberty of choosing a re- not allowing them at the same time a vote in presentative council, to meet the colonies, choosing members of the parliament; and, as and consider and judge of the necessity of the frontiers of America bear the expense of any general tax, and the quantum, shows a their own defence, it seems hard to allow suspicion of their loyalty to the crown, or of them no share in voting the money, judging their regard for their country, or of their com- of the necessity and sum, or advising the mon sense and understanding; which they measures. have not deserved.
That besides the taxes necessary for the deThat compelling the colonies to pay money fence of the frontiers, the colonies pay yearly without their consent, would be rather like great sums to the mother country unnoticed: raising contributions in an enemy's country, —for 1. Taxes paid in Britain by the landthan taxing of Englishmen for their own pub- holder or artificer must enter into and increase lic benefit.
the price of the produce of land and manufacThat it would be treating them as a con- tures made of it; and great part of this is paid quered people, and not as true British subjects. by consumers in the colonies, who thereby pay
That a tax laid by the representatives of a considerable part of the British taxes. the colonies might be easily lessened as the 2. We are restrained in our trade with occasion should lessen; but being once laid foreign nations; and where we could be supby parliament under the influence of the replied with any manufacture cheaper from presentations made by governors, would pro- them, but must buy the same dearer from bably be kept up, and continued for the bene- Britain, the difference of price is a clear tax fit of governors; to the grievous burden and to Britain. discontentment of the colonies, and prevention 3. We are obliged to carry a great part of of their growth and increase.
our produce directly to Britain ; and where That a power in governors, to march the the duties laid upon it lessen its price to the inhabitants from one end of the British and planter, or it sells for less than it would in French colonies to the other, being a country foreign markets, the difference is a tax paid of at least one thousand five hundred miles to Britain. long, without the approbation or the consent 4. Some manufactures we could make, but of their representatives first obtained to such / are forbidden, and must take them of British VOL. II. ... 2 A
merchants: the whole price is a tax paid to lency was pleased to honour me with, on the Britain.
subject of uniting the colonies more intimate5. By our greatly increasing the demand ly with Great Britain, by allowing them reand consumption of British manufactures, presentatives in parliament, I have something their price is considerably raised of late years; further considered that matter, and am of the advantage is clear profit to Britain, and opinion, that such an union would be very acenables its people better to pay great taxes; ceptable to the colonies, provided they had a and much of it being paid by us, is clear tax reasonable number of representatives allowed to Britain,
them; and that all the old acts of parliament 6. In short, as we are not suffered to re- restraining the trade or cramping the manugulate our trade, and restrain the importation factures of the colonies be at the same time and consumption of British superfluities (as repeated, and the British subjects on this side Britain can the consumption of foreign su- The water put, in those respects, on the same perfluities) our whole wealth centres finally footing with those in Great Britain, till the amongst the merchants and inhabitants of new parliament, representing the whole, shall Britain; and if we make them richer, and think it for the interest of the whole to reenable them better to pay their taxes, it is enact some or all of them: it is not that I nearly the same as being taxed ourselves, and imagine so many representatives will be alequally beneficial to the crown.
lowed the colonies, as to have any great These kind of secondary taxes, however, weight by their numbers; but I think there we do not complain of, though we have no might be sufficient to occasion those laws to be share in the laying or disposing of them: better and more impartially considered, and but to pay immediate heavy taxes, in the lay- perhaps to overcome the interest of a petty coring, appropriation, and disposition of which, poration, or of any particular set of artificers we have no part, and which perhaps we may or traders in England, who heretofore seem, know to be as unnecessary as grievous, must in some instances, to have been more regardseem hard measures to Englishmen, who can- ed than all the colonies, or than was consistent not conceive, that by hazarding their lives with the general interest, or best natural and fortunes in subduing and settling new good. I think too, that the government of the countries, extending the dominion, and in- colonies by a parliament, in which they are creasing the commerce of the mother nation, fairly represented, would be vastly more they have forfeited the native rights of Bri- agreeable to the people, than the method latetons; which they think ought rather to be ly attempted to be introduced by royal ingiven to them, as due to such merit, if they struction; as well as more agreeable to the had been before in a state of slavery nature of an English constitution, and to
These, and such kinds of things as these, 1 English liberty; and that such laws, as now apprehend, will be thought and said by the seem to bear hard on the colonies, would people, if the proposed alteration of the Al-(when judged by such a parliament for the bany plan should take place. Then the ad, best interest of the whole) be more cheerfully ministration of the board of governors' and submitted to, and more easily executed. council so appointed, not having the repre I should hope too, that by such an union, sentative body of the people to approve and the.people of Great Britain, and the people of unite in its measures, and conciliate the the colonies would learn to consider themminds of the people to them, will probably be- selves, as not belonging to different commucome suspected and odious; dangerous ani- nities with different interests, but to one commosities and feuds will arise between the go-munity with one interest; which I imagine vernors and governed; and every thing go would contribute to strengthen the whole, into confusion.
and greatly lessen the danger of future sepaPerhaps I am too apprehensive in this mat- rations. ter; but having freely given my opinion and It Is, I suppose, agreed to be the general inreasons, your excellency can judge better terest of any state, that its people be numerthan I, whether there be any weight in them, ous and rich; men enow to fight in its deand the shortness of the time allowed me will fence, and enow to pay sufficient taxes to deI hope in some degree excuse the imperfec- fray the charge ; for these circumstances tend tions of this scrawl.
to the security of the state, and its protection With the greatest respect and fidelity, I from foreign power. But it seems not of so have the honour to be B. FRANKLIN.
much importance, whether the fighting ber done by John or Thomas, or the tax paid by
William or Charles. The iron manufacture * III. Letter on the subject of uniting the Co-employs and enriches British subjects, but is
lonies more intimately with Great Britain, it 'any importance to the state, whether the by Representatives in Parliament. manufacturer lives at Birmingham or Shef- la
1. Ton, Dec. 22, 1754. field, or both; since they are still within its Six,-Since the conversation your excel- | bounds, and their wealth and persons still at
1 ler esi