Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

light of all this mischief, provided he could stood to infer, that our general convention make himself an absolute prince. That, to was divinely inspired, when it formed the support the new dignity with splendour in his new federal constitution, merely because family, the partial poll tax, already levied and that constitution has been unreasonably and given to Aaron,t was to be followed by a ge- vehemently opposed; yet, I must own, I have neral one, which would probably be aug. so much faith in the general government of mented from time to time, if he were suffer- the world by Providence, that I can hardly ed to go on promulgating new laws, on pre-conceive a transaction of such momentous imtence of new occasional revelations of the di- portance to the welfare of millions now exvine will, till their whole fortunes were de isting, and to exist in the posterity of a great voured by that aristocracy.

nation, should be suffered to pass without beMoses denied the charge of peculation, ing in some degree influenced, guided, and and his accusers were destitute of proofs to governed by that omnipotent, omnipresent, support it; though facts, if real, are in their and beneficent ruler, in whom all inferior nature capable of proof. “I have not,” said spirits live, and move, and have their being. he (with holy confidence in the presence of God,) “I have not taken from this people the value of an ass, nor done them any other in THE INTERNAL STATE OF AMEjury.” But his enemies had made the charge,

RICA; and with some success among the populace; for no kind of accusation is so readily made, Being a true description of the Interest and or easily believed, by knaves, as the accusa

Policy of that vast Continent. tion of knavery.

THERE is a tradition, that, in the planting In fine, no less than two hundred and fifty of New England, the first settlers met with of the principal men "famous in the congre- many difficulties and hardships; as is genegation, men of renown,”heading and excit- rally the case when a civilized people attempt ing the mob, worked them up to such a pitch establishing themselves in a wilderness counof phrenzy, that they called out, stone him, try. Being piously disposed, they sought restone him, and thereby secure our liberties; lief from Heaven, by_laying their wants and and let us choose other captains, that may distresses before the Lord, in frequent set days lead us back into Egypt, in case we do not of fasting and prayer. Constant meditation succeed in reducing the Canaanites. and discourse on these subjects kept their

On the whole, it appears, that the Israelites minds gloomy and discontented; and, like were a people jealous of their newly acquired the children of Israel, there were many disliberty, which jealousy was in itself no fault; posed to return to that Egypt, which perse-, but that, when they suffered it to be worked cution had induced them to abandon. At upon by artful men, pretending public good, length, when it was proposed in the assembly with nothing really in view but private in to proclaim another fast, a farmer of plain terest, they were led to oppose the establish- sense rose and remarked, that the inconveniment of the new constitution, whereby they ences they suffered, and concerning which brought upon themselves much inconvenience they had so often wearied Heaven with their and misfortune. It farther appears, from the complaints, were not so great as they might same inestimable history, that when, after have expected, and were diminishing every many ages, the constitution had become old day as the colony strengthened; that the and much abused, and an amendment of it was earth began to reward their labour, and to proposed, the populace, as they had accused furnish liberally for their subsistence; that Moses of the ambition of making himself a the seas and rivers were found full of fish, the prince, and cried out, stone him, stone him; air sweet, the climate healthy; and, above so, exciting by their high-priests and scribes, all, that they were there in the full enjoythey exclaimed against the Messiah, that he ment of liberty, civil and religious: he thereaimed at becoming king of the Jews, and fore thought, that reflecting and conversing cried, crucify him, crucify him. From all on these subjects would be more comfortable, which we may gather, that popular opposition as tending more to make them contented to a public measure is no proof of its impro- with their situation; and that it would be priety, even though the opposition be ex more becoming the gratitude they owed to cited and headed by men of distinction. the Divine Being, if, instead of a fast, they To conclude, I beg I may not be under should proclaim a thanksgiving. His advice

was taken ; and from that day to this they thou hast brought us up out of a land flowing with milk of public felicity sufficient to furnish employ

* Numbers, chap. xvi. ver. 13. “Is it a small thing that have, in every year, observed circumstances and boney, to kill us in this wilderness, except thou make thyself altogether a prince over us.”

ment for a thanksgiving day; which is there1 Numbers, chap. iii.

fore constantly ordered and religiously ob1 Exodus, chap. Xxx. Numbers, chap. xvi.

served.

I see in the public newspapers of different make a very considerable part of the city instates frequent complaints of hard times, dead- habitants. ness of trade, scarcity of money, fc. It is At the distance I live from our American not my intention to assert or maintain, that fisheries, I cannot speak of them with any these complaints are entirely without foun- degree of certainty ; but I have not heard, dation. There can be no country or nation that the labour of the valuable race of men emexisting, in which there will not be some ployed in them is worse paid, or that they people so circumstanced, as to find it hard meet with less success, than before the revoto gain a livelihood; people who are not in lution. The whale-men indeed have been the way of any profitable trade, and with deprived of one market for their oil; but anowhom money is scarce, because they have no- ther, I hear, is opening for them, which it is thing to give in exchange for it; and it is al- hoped may be equally advantageous; and the ways in the power of a small number to make demand is constantly increasing for their a great clamour. But let us take a cool view spermaceti candels, which therefore bear a of the general state of our affairs, and perhaps much higher price than formerly. the prospect will appear less gloomy than There remain the merchants and shophas been imagined.

keepers. Of these, though they make but a The great business of the continent is small part of the whole nation, the number is agriculture. For one artisan, or merchant, I considerable, too great indeed for the busisuppose, we have at least one hundred farm- ness they are employed in; for the consumpers, by far the greatest part cultivators of tion of goods in every country has its limits; their own fertile lands, from whence many of the faculties of the people, that is, their ability them draw not only the food necessary for to buy and pay, being equal only to a certain their subsistence, but the materials of their quantity of merchandise. If merchants calclothing, so as to need very few foreign sup- culate amiss on this proportion, and import too plies; while they have a surplus of produc- much, they will of course find the sale dull tions to dispose of, whereby wealth is gradu- for the overplus, and some of them will say, ally accumulated. Such has been the good that trade languishes. They should, and ness of Divine Providence to these regions, doubtless will grow, wiser by experience, and and so favourable the climate, that, since the import less. If too many artificers in town, three or four years of hardship in the first set- and farmers from the country, flattering themtlement of our fathers here, a famine or scar- selves with the idea of leading easier lives, city has never been heard of amongst us; on turn shopkeepers, the whole natural quantity the contrary, though some years may have of that business divided among them all may been more, and others less plentiful, there has afford too small a share for each, and occasion always been provision enough for ourselves, complaints, that trade is dead; these may also and a quantity to spare for exportation. And suppose, that it is owing to scarcity of money, although the crops of last year were general while, in fact, it is not so much from the fewly good, never was the farmer better paid for ness of buyers, as from the excessive number the part he can spare commerce, as the pub- of sellers, that the mischief arises; and, ifevery lished price currents abundantly testify. The shopkeeping farmer and mechanic would relands he possesses are also continually rising turn to the use of his plough and working in value with the increase of population; and, tools, there would remain of widows, and other on the whole, he is enabled to give such good women, shopkeepers sufficient for the business, wages to those who work for him, that all which might then afford them a comfortable who are acquainted with the old world must maintenance. agree, that in no part of it are the labouring Whoever has travelled through the various poor so generally well fed, well clothed, well parts of Europe, and observed how small is lodged, and well paid, as in the Uuited States the proportion of people in affluence or easy of America.

circumstances there, compared with those in If we enter the cities, we find, that, since poverty and misery; the few rich and haughty the revolution, the owners of houses and lots landlords, the multitude of poor, abject, rackof ground have had their interest vastly aug- rented, tythe-paying tenants, and half paid mented in value; rents have risen to an as- and half-starved ragged labourers; and views tonishing height, and thence encouragement here the happy mediocrity, that so generally to increase building, which gives employment prevails throughout these states, where the to an abundance of workmen, as does also the cultivator works for himself, and supports his increased luxury and splendour of living of family in decent plenty, will, methinks, see the inhabitants, thus made richer. These abundant reason to bless Divine Providence workmen all demand and obtain much bigher for the evident and great difference in our wages than any other part of the world would favour, and be convinced, that no nation afford them, and are paid in ready money.-- known to us enjoys a greater share of human This class of people therefore do not, or ought felicity. got, to complain of hard times; and they It is true, that in some of the states there

are parties and discords; but let us look back, rich. At present our independent governand ask if we were ever without them? Such ments may do what we could not then do, diswill exist wherever there is liberty; and per- courage by heavy duties, or prevent by heavy haps they help to preserve it. By the colli- prohibitions, such iinportations, and thereby sion of different sentiments, sparks of truth grow richer; if, indeed, which may admit of are struck out, and political light is obtained. dispute, the desire of adorning ourselves with The different factions, which at present divide fine clothes, possessing fine furniture, with us, aim all at the public good: the differences elegant houses, &c. is not, by strongly incitare only about the various modes of promot- ing to labour and industry, the occasion of ing it.

Things, actions, measures, and ob- producing a greater value, than is consumed jects of all kinds, present themselves to the in the gratification of that desire. minds of men in such a variety of lights, that The agriculture and fisheries of the United it is not possible we should all think alike at States are the great sources of our increasing the same time on every subject, when hardly wealth. He that puts a seed into the earth is the same man retains at all times the same recompensed, perhaps, by receiving forty out ideas of it. Parties are therefore the common of it; and he who draws a fish out of our walot of humanity; and ours are by no means ter, draws up a piece of silver. more mischievous or less beneficial than those Let us (and there is no doubt but we shall) of other countries, nations, and ages, enjoying be attentive to these, and then the power of in the same degree the great blessing of poli- rivals, with all their restraining and prohibittical liberty.

ing acts, cannot much hurt us.

We are sons Some indeed among us are not so much of the earth and seas, and, like Antæus in the grieved for the present state of our affairs, as fable, if, in wrestling with a Hercules, we now apprehensive for the future. The growth of and then receive a fall, the touch of our paluxury alarms them, and they think we are rents will communicate to us fresh strength from that alone in the high road to ruin. and vigour to renew the contest. They observe, that no revenue is sufficient without economy, and that the most plentiful income of a whole people from the natural SETTLEMENT ON OHIO. productions of their country may be dissipated

When lord Halifax presided over the British Board in vain and needless expenses, and poverty orTrade, 1760, a plan was suggested by Dr. Franklin be introduced in the place of affluence. This for establishing a colony or settlement on the river may be posslble. It however rarely happens: bined in this design ; among others that of serving as for there seems to be in every nation a greater a protection to the interior frontier

of the adjoining proportion of industry and frugality, which colonies

against the Indians, which was highly approv tend to enrich, than of idleness and prodigali- in at that period,

but in 1770 it was renewed, and Thoty, which occasion poverty; so that upon the mas Walpole, an eminent banker of London, was assowhole there is a continual accumulation. ciated with Dr. Franklin, John Sargent, and Samuel

Wharton, and many others of great property in the deRefect what Spain, Gaul, Germany, and Bri- sign. A petition praying for a tract of land on the tain were in the time of the Romans, inhabit- phio for this purpose was presented to the king in

council by the above-named persons, on behalf of them. ed by people little richer than our savages, selves and others. After the petition had been for

some and consider the wealth they at present pos- time before the privy council, it was referred, as usual, sess, in numerous well-built

cities, improved port made appears to have been drawn up by lord Hillsfarms, rich moveables, magazines stocked borough, who then presided at that Board. The anwith valuable manufactures, to say nothing of swer which follows was written by Dr. Franklin. plate, jewels, and coined money; and all this, it is believed lord Hillsborough never forgave Dr. notwithstanding their bad, wasteful, plunder- Franklin the humiliation he felt from this answer. ing governments, and their mad destructive wars; and yet luxury and extravagant living Report of the Lord Commissioners for

Trade and Plantations, on the Petition has never suffered much restraint in those countries. Then consider the great propor

of the Honourable Thomas Walpole and tion of industrious frugal farmers inhabiting

his Associates, for a Grant of Lands on

the river Ohio, in North America. the interior parts of these American states, and of whom the body of our nation consists, My LORDS,—Pursuant to your lordships and judge whether it is possible, that the order of the 25th May, 1770, we have taken luxury of our sea-ports can be sufficient to ruin into our consideration the humble memorial buch a country. If the importation of foreign of the honourable Thomas Walpole, Benjamin luxuries could ruin a people, we should pro- Franklin, John Sargent, and Samuel Wharbably have been ruined long ago; for the Bri- ton, esquires, in behalf of themselves and their tish 'nation claimed a right, and practised it, associates, setting forth among other things, of importing among us not only the superflui That they presented a petition to his maties of their own production, but those of every jesty in council, for a grant of lands in Amenation under heaven; we bought and consum- rica (parcel of the lands purchased by governed them, and yet we flourished and grew ment of the Indians) in consideration of a

price to be paid in purchase of the same; that with good policy and justice that his main pursuance of a suggestion which arose jesty should comply with that part of the mewhen the said petition was under considera- morial which relates to those lands, which are tion of the lords commissioners for trade and situated to the east of that line, and are part plantations, the memorialists pri sented a pe- of the dominion of Virginia. tition to the lords commissioners of the trea III. And first with regard to the policy, we sury, proposing to purchase a larger tract of take leave to remind your lordships of that land on the river Ohio in America, sufficient principle which was adopted by this board, for a separate government; whereupon their and approved and confirmed by his majesty, lordships were pleased to acquaint the memo immediately after the treaty of Paris, viz. the rialists, they had no objection to accepting the confining the western extent of settlements, proposals made by them, with respect to the to such a distance from the sea-coast, as that purchase-money and quit-rent to be paid for those settlements should lie within the reach the said tract of land, if it should be thought of the trade and commerce of this kingdom, adviseable by those departments of govern- upon which the strength and riches of it dement, to whom it belonged to judge of the pend, and also of the exercise of that authority proprietary of the grant, both in point of po- and jurisdiction, which was conceived to be licy and justice, that the grant should be made; necessary for the preservation of the colonies, in consequence whereof the memorialists in a due subordination to, and dependence uphumbly renew their application, that a grant on, the mother country; and these we appreof said lands may be made to them, reserving hend to have been two capital objects of his therein to all persons their just and legal majesty's proclamation of the 7th of October, rights to any parts or parcels of said lands 1763, by which his majesty declares it to be which may be comprehended within the tract his royal will and pleasure, to reserve under prayed for by the memorialists ;" whereupon his sovereignty, protection, and dominion, for we beg leave to report to your lordships, the use of the Indians, all the lands not in

I. That according to the description of the cluded within the three new governments, tract of land prayed for by the memorialists, the limits of which are described therein, as which description is annexed to their memo- also all the lands and territories lying to the rial, it appears to us to contain part of the do- westward of the sources of the rivers which minion of Virginia, to the south of the river fall into the sea from the west and north-west, Ohio, and to extend several degrees of longi- and by which, all persons are forbid to make tude westward from the western ridge of the any purchases or settlements whatever, or to Appalachian mountains, as will more fully ap- take possession of any of the lands above repear to your lordships from the annexed served, without special license for that pur. sketch of the said tract, which we have since pose. caused to be delineated with as much exact. IV. It is true indeed, that partly from want ness as possible, and herewith submit to your of precision in describing the line intended lordships, to the end that your lordships may to be marked out by the proclamation of 1763, judge, with the greater precision, of the si- and partly from a consideration of justice in tửation of the lands prayed for in the memo- regard to legal titles to lands, which had rial.

been settled beyond that line, it has been II. From this sketch your lordships will ob- since thought fit to enter into engagements serve, that a very considerable part of the with the Indians, for fixing a more precise lands prayed for lies beyond the line, which and determined boundary between his majeshas, in consequence of his majesty's orders ty's territories and their hunting grounds. for that purpose, been settled by treaty, as V. By this boundary, so far as regards the well with the tribes of the Six Nations and case now in question, your lordships will obtheir confederates, as with the Cherokee In- serve, that the hunting grounds of the Indians dians, as the boundary line between his ma- are reduced within narrower limits than were jesty's territories and their hunting grounds; specified by the proclamation of 1763; we beg ånd as the faith of the crown is pledged in the leave, however, to submit to your lordships, most solemn manner both to the Six Nations that the same principles of policy, in referand to the Cherokees, that notwithstanding ence to settlements at so great a distance the former of these nations had ceded the pro- from the seacost as to be out of the reach of perty in the lands to his majesty, yet no set- all advantageous intercourse with this king, tlement shall be made beyond that line, it is dom, continue to exist in their full force and our duty to report to your lordships our opi- spirit, and though various propositions for · nion, that it would on that account be highly erecting new colonies in the interior parts of improper to comply with the request of the America have been, in consequence of this memorial, so far as it includes any lands be extension of the boundary line, submitted to yond the said line.

the consideration of government (particularly It remains therefore, that we report to your in that part of the country wherein are situlordships our opinion, how far it may consist Iated the lands now prayed for, with a view

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

to that object) yet the dangers and disadvan- | the advantages represented to arise from it in tages of complying with such proposals have these differens articles, that it was so libebeen so obvious, as to defeat every attempt rally supported by the aid of parliament. made for carrying them into execution. “The same motives, though operating in a

“ VI. Many objections, besides those which less degree, and applying to fewer objects, we have already stated, occur to us to pro- did, as we humbly conceive, induce the formpositions of this kind; but as every argument ing the colonies of Georgia, East Florida, and on this subject is collected together with great West Florida, to the south, and the making force and precision, in a representation made those provincial arrangements in the proclato his majesty by the commissioners for trade mation of 1763, by which the interior country and plantations in March, 1768, we beg leave was left to the possession of the Indians. to state them to your lordships in their words. “ Having thus briefly stated what has been

In that representation they deliver their the policy of this kingdom in respect to coloopinion upon a proposition for settling new nizing in America, it may be necessary to colonies in the interior country as follows, take a cursory view of what has been the viz.

effect of it in those colonies, where there has “ The proposition of forming inland colo- been sufficient time for that effect to discover nies in America, is, we humbly conceive, en- itself; because, if it shall appear from the tirely new : it adopts principles in respect to present state of these settlements, and the American settlements different from what has progress they have made, that they are likely hitherto been the policy of this kingdom, and to produce the advantages above stated, it leads to a system which if pursued through will, we humbly apprehend, be a very strong all its consequences, is, in the present state argument against forming settlements in the of that country, of the greatest importance. interior country; more especially, when every

“ The great object of colonizing upon the advantage, derived from an established gocontinent of North America, has been to im- vernment, would naturally tend to draw the prove and extend the commerce, navigation, stream of population ; fertility of soil and temand manufactures of this kingdom, upon perature of climate offering superior incitewhich its strength and security depend. ments to settlers, who, exposed to few hard.

“ 1. By promoting the advantageous fishe- ships, and struggling with few difficulties, ry carried on upon the northern coast. could, with little labour, earn an abundance

“ 2. By encouraging the growth and cul- for their own wants, but without a possibility ture of naval stores, and of raw materials, to of supplying ours with any

considerable

quanbe transported hither in exchange for perfect tities. Nor would these inducements be conmanufactures and other merchandise. fined in their operation to foreign emigrants,

"3. By securing a supply of lumber, pro- determining their choice where to settle, but visions, and other necessaries, for the sup would act most powerfully upon the inhabiport of our establishments in the American tants of the northern and southern latitudes islands.

of your majesty's American dominions; who, “In order to answer these salutary pur- ever suffering under the opposite extremes poses it has been the policy of this kingdom of heat and cold, would be equally tempted to confine her settlements as much as possi- by a moderate climate to abandon latitudes ble to the sea-coast, and not to extend them peculiarly adapted to the production of those to places inaccessible to shipping, and conse- things, which are by nature denied to us; quently more out of the reach of commerce; and for the whole of which we should, without à plan, which, at the same time that it se their assistance, stand indebted to, and decured the attainment of these commercial ob pendant upon other countries. jects, had the further political advantage of “ It is well known, that antecedent to the guarding against all interfering of foreign year 1749, all that part of the sea-coast of the powers, and of enabling this kingdom to keep British empire in America, which extends up a superior naval force in those seas, by the north-east from the province of Main to Canactual possession of such rivers and harbours ceau in Nova Scotia, and from thence north as were proper stations for fleets in time of to the mouth of St. Laurence river, lay waste

and neglected; though naturally affording, or “ Such, may it please your majesty, have capable by art of producing, every species of been the considerations inducing that plan of naval stores; the seas bounding with whale policy hitherto pursued in the settlement of cod, and other valuable fish, and having many your majesty's American colonies, with which great rivers, bays, and harbours, fit for the rethe private interest and sagacity of the set- ception of ships of war. Thus circumstanced, tlers co-operated from the first establishments a consideration of the great commercial advanformed upon that continent: it was upon tages which would follow from securing the these principles, and with these views, that possession of this country, combined with the government undertook the settling of Nova evidence of the value set upon it by our eneScotia in 1749; and it was from a view of mies, who, during the war which terminated

war.

« AnteriorContinuar »