« AnteriorContinuar »
the care he had taken, to obtain the best in- and vigorous resolution of dislodging from telligence he was able of what was proposed the neighbourhood of their settlements, (not to be transacted at the ensuing treaty to be the settlements themselves, or parts unsetheld at Albany, &c. they proceeded as follows: tled far within the limits of the province, as * And as he has been pleased to request our before confidently asserted from undoubted sentiments on the instructions to be given assurance] not indeed as principals, but in the gentlemen commissioners on the part of concurrence with the government of Virginia, this province, to which he will pay the wh the determinations taken there should greatest regard,' we can do no less than re- be communicated to them-urging, that in turn him our grateful acknowledgments for the mean while it would be highly expedient his condescension and justice; and would to take into consideration the most proper cheerfully comply therewith at this time: but ways and means of raising a supply for this serwhen we consider, that no propositions for an vice; and that in doing thereof, they should union of the colonies, in Indian affairs, can industriously avoid whatever might be likely effectually answer the good purposes, or be to occasion any difference of opinion between binding farther than they are confirmed by him and them, to the detriment of the comlaws enacted under the several governments mon cause, &c. That some provision should comprised in that union; that we know not be made for the support of such Indians as, what restrictions the governor may lie under flying from the enemy, had taken refuge in passing our acts; and that we have very amongst their brethren of Pennsylvania ; that little reason to depend upon any assistance in the inhabitants on the frontiers, had also by our Indian expenses, whereby a former as- their petitions applied to him for protection ; sembly, it has been respectfully addressed for, that the defenceless state of the province in and where we think in justice we have a general, demanded their special consideraright to expect it; we are, under these cir- tion: that it was become his indispensable cumstances, at a loss to advise him on the duty to press it upon them accordingly, &c. important articles he has been pleased to And in the close of all he expressed himself propose to our consideration. Nevertheless, as follows: as we have already declared our satisfaction “ It is with great satisfaction, that I now in the gentlemen the governor has been communicate to you the proceedings of the pleased to name for this commission, so we commissioners at the late treaty at Albany ; confide in their abilities and prudence to an- as, on perusal thereof, you will clearly perswer the ends proposed in the letter from the ceive, that the lands on the river Ohio do yet lords of trade, of the eighteenth of September belong to the Indians of the Six Nations, and last, by renewing at this interview, the cove- have, long since, been by them put under the nant chain with the Six Nations, and by frus protection of the crown of England. That the trating, as far as lies in their power, any at- proceedings of the French in erecting forts on tempts which have been made to withdraw that river, and in the countries adjacent, have them from the British interest: and for this never received the countenance or approbation purpose, in compliance with the said letter of those nations; but, on the contrary, are exfrom the lords of trade, we have now granted pressly declared by them, to have been witha present to be made to those Indians on our out their privity or consent. That they are behalf, however inconvenient we may judge greatly alarmed at the rapid progress of the it to hold our treaties at Albany on other oc- French, and in severe terms reproach us with · casions."
supine negligence, and the defenceless state Lastly: the governor also, on his part, de- of our possessions ; and, in effect, call upon us sired the members sent with this message to to fortify our frontiers, as well for the secuacquaint the house, that as some parts of the rity of their countries as of our own. -That minutes of that session might be necessary to after a due and weighty reflection on these be mentioned in the representation, the go several matters, with many others of equal vernor found himself obliged to make to his importance, the commssioners thought it nemajesty, in answer to his royal order, in rela- cessary to consider of, and draw up a repretion to the invasion of his dominions by the sentation of the present state of the colonies : French and their Indian allies, he desired the and from thence, judging that no effectual ophouse would order a copy thereof to be deliver- position was like to be made to the destruced to him : and an order was thereupon made, tive measures of the French, but by an union that the said minutes might be delivered to of them all for their mutual defence, devised him accordingly.
likewise a general plan for that purpose, to Their next meeting was on the 7th of Au- be offered to the consideration of their regust following, by special summons: upon spective legislatures. which occasion, the governor, having sent for “ And as both those papers appear to me to the house, acquainted them with Washing-i contain matters of the utmost consequence to ton's defeat, and in the most solemn manner the welfare of the colonies in general, and to (his words) recommended to them a cheerful have been digested and drawn up with great
clearness and strength of judgment, I cannot This was the last act of Mr. Hamilton's go but express my approbation of them; and do vernment. Weary of a service, which he therefore recommend them to you, as well found incompatible, if not with his notions of worthy of your closest and most serious at- honour, at least with his repose, he had desired tention.”
to be dismissed; and was succeeded by Robert The particulars contained in this speech Hunter Morris, Esq. were also enforced by several papers commu In the beginning of October, 1754, much nicated at the same time: and the house about the time of Mr. Morris's arrival at Phitaking the premises into consideration, after ladelphia, a new assembly was to be chosen in various debates, divisions, rejections, &c. the course of the year, and had been chosen agreed to a bill for striking the sum of thirty- accordingly. five thousand pounds in bills of credit, and for To these summoned, according to form, up granting fifteen thousand pounds thereof for to his council-chamber, the new governor the king's use, and for applying the remain- made a short speech; importing, “his persuader to the exchange of torn and ragged bills: sion that the proprietaries had nothing more which, being presented to the governor, pro- at heart than the welfare and prosperity of the duced the following answer, viz.
people: his own self-fattery that it was from “The governor promised himself, from the the opinion that they had entertained of his request he made to the house in his speech disposition to promote the general happiness at the opening of the session, that consider to the utmost of his power, they had made ing the importance of the occasion, they would choice of him: the resolution he had taken not have fallen upon some method of raising mo- to disappoint them: assurance, that he should, ney for the king's use to which he might have upon all occasions, be studious to protect the had no material objection; and could not help people committed to his charge in their civil therefore being extremely mortified at find- and religious privileges, and careful to maining the bill now presented him for that pur- tain the just rights of government, as equally pose, to be not only formed on the said plan, conducive to the public good : a recommendbut to be nearly of the same tenor with that ation, in particular, of the state of the frontier to which he refused his assent at their last both of that and the neighbouring governmeeting. He has nevertheless complied with ments; where they would find the French actthe proffer he then made them, and has ing with a steady uniformity and avowed resoagreed to extend the fund they have chosen lution to make themselves masters of the counto raise the money upon, in the same propor- try; an interspersion of certain stimulatives, tion as they have increased the sum granted drawn from a contemplation of the miseries to his majesty. But the house is peremptory, they would be exposed to, in case they suffered and will admit of no alteration in their bill
. the enemy to strengthen themselves in their All then that remains after assuring them posts; and an earnest call upon them, in his that the governor, lest the king's services majesty's name, to exert themselves at that should suffer, has strained his powers even critical juncture in defence of their country: beyond what he almost dares think consistent And lastly, a declaration, that if they should with his safety, is, to submit our respective find any laws wanting for the better governconduct to the judgment of our superiors. ment of the province, he should be ready to But he hopes this also may be rendered un- enter upon the consideration of such as they necessary by the arrival of the gentlemen should propose, and give his consent to such that is to succeed him in the administration, as he should think reasonable.”. who may every day be looked for among us : More doubts than confidence, it may be preand who may possibly think himself more at sumed, this speech excited; for the assembly liberty with respect to the matter in contro- having, upon the report, bestowed some time versy, than the governor can presume to do. in the consideration of it, thought fit to call In the mean while it is hoped no considerable for a copy of the governor's commission, as also detriment may arise to his majesty's affairs in of the royal approbation, before they proceeded the short interval between this and the time to answer it. of his actual arrival.
This answer was also as dry, and as cau“ So much has already been said upon this tiously worded, as the governor's speech. subject on another occasion, that the governor They echoed back what parts of it they could; declines any farther enlargement thereon, as and they joined issue with the governor in prowell knowing that public disputes of this na- mising with the same sincerity, to contribute ture frequently terminate in private animosi- every thing in their power to support him in ties, which he is very desirous of avoiding; the exertion of the just rights of government, and therefore only expects from the house that conducive to the good ends by him specified. they will do him the same justice he is wil- After which they proceeded in these words : ling to do them, in supposing him to act from the encroachments of the French on his mahis judgment, when he tells them that he can- jesty's territories, and their hostile proceedings not recede from his amendments."
in this time of peace, are truly alarming; and
as they have been long since known in Great common defence, since the account received Britain, we were in hopes, on the governor's by you from major Washington, with regard arrival, to have received instructions from the to the hostilities committed by the French upcrown how to conduct ourselves on this im- on the river Ohio, which verify in fact what portant occasion : but as we have not had any was apprehended when the earl of Holdersuch laid before us, the royal order sent to the nesse wrote so fully to you in August last, several colonies by the earl of Holdernesse, and which might have been, great measure, in his letter of the twenty-eighth of August, if not totally prevented, had every one of his 1753, appears to be the only rule by which we majesty's governments exerted themselves accan now act with safety. And as we find our late cording to those directions, the observance assembly did what was most consistent with whereof I am now, by the king's command, to the trust reposed in them, to comply there. enforce to you in the strongest manner.-I with, the governor may likewise depend upon am, &c." our doing whatever can be reasonably expected from us for the good of this province, or with a speech, in which occur the following
The governor also accompanied this letter the general interest of the British colonies on
curious particulars, viz. the continent, whenever our assistance can be applied to any valuable purpose. But at ordered to be laid before you, it will appear
“From the letters and intelligence I have present, as we know not where to direct our that the French have now, at their fort at Mo aid, and as this has not been the usual time of nongatula, above a thousand regular troops doing business, occasioned by the governor's besides Indians; that they are well supplied being obliged to give his attendance elsewhere, with provisions, and that they have lately rewe are inclined, if he has no objection, or any ceived an additional number of cannon; that thing farther to lay before us, to make a short their upper forts are also well garrisoned and adjournment; and if, during our recess, any provided; and that they are making a settlematters of importance should come to his ment of three hundred families in the counknowledge, we shall cheerfully attend the governor's call of our house, and contribute try of the Twigtwees, at the south-west end
of the lake Erie. our assistance for the public good.".
“ From those papers you will likewise be The result was, that the governor thanked informed of the use they have made of their them for their speech, and concurred in their last year's success among the Indians of the proposition; upon which they adjourned ac- Six Nations, having prevailed with many of cordingly.
them to remove to Canada, who will either In the beginning of December they met be neuter in the present dispute, or take up again, and then the governor communicated a letter from sir Thomas Robinson, secretary of
arms against us, while such few of the Indi
ans, as still retain their attachment to the state, dated July 5, 1754; by which it appears, English, dare not be active for us, till they that for upwards of ten months, the case of the northern colonies, actually invaded by the French ; and if that be not soon, they will
see a force in the field superior to that of the French, had not been made the foremost point certainly give up our cause, and embrace the of consideration here at home; and that the tempting offers made them by the French. Americans were in a sort of disgrace at court
“Gentlemen, it is now several years
since for not having broken through all the cau- the French undertook this expedition, and we tions laid upon them before, and assumed and have long had full intelligence of their deexercised all the powers of government in signs, and of the steps they have taken to cartaking care of themselves.
ry them into execution : their progress indeed Let the reader judge for himself.
has been very surprising, owing chiefly to the “ WHITEHALL, July 5, 1754. inactivity of the English colonies, who, I am “SIR,—Your letter of the 25th of Novem- sorry to say, have looked with too much inber last, in answer to the earl of Holder difference upon an affair that must end in nesse's of the 28th of August, having been re- their ruin if not timely prevented." ceived and laid before the king, I am to ac [Poor colonies ! exposed on one hand ! cenquaint you, that it is his majesty's express sured on the other !] command, that you should, in obedience there In a subsequent paragraph he also proceeds to, not only act vigorously in the defence of as follows: the government under your care, but that you “ These encroachments of the French upshould likewise be aiding and assisting his ma- on the territories of the crown of Britain in jesty's other American colonies, to repel any America, have turned the eyes of Europe to attempts made against them; and it was with this quarter of the world, as it is uncertain great surprise, that the king observed your to what effects they may produce. The conduct tal silence upon that part of his majesty's or- therefore, of these colonies, will be more than ders, which relate to a concert with the other ever the object of their attention, and ours in colonies, which, you must be sensible, is now particular who are most immediately concernbecome more essentially necessary for their led: for whether the French forts are within
the particular limits of this province or not, I service, and those for the particular interest look upon to be very immaterial in the present of the province, upon the same footing, by the case, though in my opinion they are clearly old expedient of a currency bill, providing for so: but be that as it may, our situation at striking the sum of forty thousand pounds in present is certainly very alarming: the bills of credit; one moiety for the king's use, French on our borders are numerous, strong- and the other for replacing damaged bills: !y fortified, well provided, and daily increas- which they sent up to the governor for his ing; the small body of English troops on the concurrence, with a written message, of which frontiers, weakened by desertion from the in- what follows was the most material part. dependent companies, and the want of disci “ Though we hope the number of the pline in the new levies; the Six Nations of French, and their Indian allies, mentioned in Indians, formerly our firm friends, divided George Croghan's letters are full large, yet among themselves, many of them gone over the uncommon efforts they have made towards to the French, and others wavering and in obtaining a possession on that part of his madoubt whether to follow their brethren, or jesty's dominions, are truly alarming, and dancontinue with us ; the neighbouring provin- gerous to the British interest in North Ameces (except Virginia) though nearly interest- rica: and we have good reason to believe, the ed in the issue of the present affair, either suras granted the king by our late assembly, contributing nothing towards the common had the then governor been pleased to pass cause, or sparingly: and though Virginia has the bills offered to him for that purpose, indeed given thirty thousand pounds, yet it might in a great measure, if not totally, will avail but little, unless a considerable bo- have prevented the bad situation of our affairs dy of troops be sent from this province, and at present,' and have placed our duty to the kept up till the work is done.
best of kings, as we desire it should always “Permit me, therefore, gentlemen, to press appear, among his most loving and loyal subthis matter upon you: exert yourselves upon jects. And for this reason, it is with concern the present occasion; dissipate the cloud that we find, by the above mentioned letter from hangs over your country, and save her from the secretary of state, “That it was with the threatened destruction. His majesty, ever great surprise the king had observed, in our anxious for the lfare of all his subjects, ex.
late governor's answer to the earl of Holdercites and commands us; the eyes of a British nesse, he had been totally silent on that part of parliament, of the people of our mother coun- his majesty's orders, which relate to a concert try, of the other American colonies; and even with tảe other colonies.' But as we have of all Europe, are upon us; and the fate of great confidence in our governor, that he will this country, the happiness or misery of your at all times afford us all good offices and proposterity, very much depend on your resolu- tection, and will be pleased to represent us tions."
and our affairs in a favourable light, as we Thus Pennsylvania alone must be put in the hope he may do with great justice; so, on front of the battle, must undertake for all, pay our part, we shall not fail to contribute every for all, &c. and is goaded on so to do by the thing in our power to answer all reasonable very proprietaries and their deputy, who expectations from so young a colony, so far as should have stood in the gap, and endeared is consistent with our civil and religious liberthemselves to the province, by endeavouring ties; beyond which, under so good a king, we to have the load laid as equally on the whole are well assured nothing further will be asked continent, and the effort made as generally or expected from us : and, in return for the as possible.
governor's justice and protection, it will give It is visible, the governor's name signified us particular pleasure to make his administranothing, whether Hamilton or Morris, except tion in this province easy to himself, and hothat the hardest driver was sure to be the nourable to all." best thought of by his employers : and it was Amazing was the answer by the governor, but natural, that the assembly should be as re- on the sixth day afterwards returned: for solute to continue the province in such a state having, at his very outset, taken shelter under as might render it worth preserving, as they the old exploded instruction to governor Thowere willing to contribute whatsoever they mas, and Ryder the attorney-general's opinion properly could towards its preservation.— upon governor Hamilton's case, delivered in Pennsylvania was more dear to them for the the following compendious manner: "I am excellency of its constitution, than the excel-of opinion, it is by no means safe or advisealency of its soil; and whatever the narrow ble, or consistent with his duty, to pass such notions of proprietaries may be, as the liberty bills, without a suspending clause;" and sugof the province is diminished, the value of gested, that he could not by any means agree their possessions in it will diminish in the to the said bill, because forbid by the said insame proportion.
struction, without such a clause. He then To discharge all duties at once, therefore, proceeded to say, " however, as the act of they again put the demands for the general parliament restraining the four eastern ga
vernments from emitting paper-currency, to repair to Virginia, there to be completed to gives them a power to strike bills of credit in seven hundred; as also to send orders to go case of emergency, I hope I shall be justified vernor Shirley and sir William Pepperell, to in thinking the reason holds good as to us raise two regiments of one thousand men each; who are in the greatest danger, being already for which officers were to be appointed, and invaded by the French, and in immediate ex- to repair to America forthwith; all to be compectation of outrage from the Indians in their manded in chief by a general officer of rank alliance: I will therefore join with you in and capacity, accompanied by a deputy-quarany bill for striking what sum you shall think ter-master-general, and a commissary of the our pressing occasions demand, provided a musters, who were likewise to set out as soon fund be established for sinking the same in as conveniently might be, in order to prepare
every thing for the arrival of the regiments to "I am exceedingly obliged to the house for be sent, and those to be raised. What foltheir kind sentiments with regard to me, and lows is in the very words of the letter, viz. shall make it my peculiar care so to act as to “ You will receive from that general, and merit the continuance of their good opinion; the other officers just mentioned, a full and and can truly say it is no small mortification exact account of the arms, clothing, and other to me to be obliged to differ in opinion from necessaries, to be sent upon this important ccthe representatives of the province, who, I am casion; as likewise of the ordnance stores, convinced, act from upright motives, and what and of the officers and attendants belonging they esteem to be its true interest; but would thereto: all which being ordered for this serwillingly hope, when they come to reflect on vice, are such proofs of his majesty's regard the obligations I am under to pay obedience for the security and welfare of his subjects in to his majesty's instructions, that they will those parts, as cannot fail to excite you to not press me to disobey them; especially exert yourself, and those under your care, to when they consider, that, should í disregard take the most vigorous steps to repel your my own honour and safety in passing a bill common danger; and to show that the king's circumstanced as this is there is great danger orders, which were sent you last year by the of its being disapproved by his majesty; and earl of Holdernesse, and were renewed to what loss and confusion such an event would you in my letter of the 5th of July, have at cause in the province, by the paper-bills be- last roused that emulation and spirit which coming of no value, I need not particularly every man owes at this time, to his majesty, mention."
the public, and himself. The king will not From the year 1740, down to the time of therefore imagine, that either you, or the rest this altercation, his majesty's ministers had of his governors, will suffer the least neglect never once interfered in this dispute; nor in or delay in the performance of the present these requisitions from the secretary's office, service, now strongly recommended to you, in the king's name, of aids from his American particularly with regard to the following subjects, is the least trespass on the right of points, viz. That you should carefully provide the subject, by any injunction direct or indi- à sufficient quantity of fresh victuals, at the rect concerning the mode of raising these aids, expense of your government, to be ready for to be traced : and yet this petty proprietary the use of the troops, at their arrival. That: governor dares to make a bugbear of his ma- you should likewise furnish the officers, who jesty's disapprobation, at the same time, and may have occasion to go from place to place, in the same breath that he leaves a gap for with all necessaries for travelling by land, in dispensing with the very instruction he pleads, case there are no means of going by sea; and provided the proprietary turn is served, of re- that you should use your utmost diligence and ducing the term to five years.
authority in procuring an exact observance of It is moreover reasonable to think the go- such orders as shall be issued from time to vernor had in his hands at this very time a time, by the commander in chief, for quarterthird letter from the secretary of state, now ing the troops, impressing carriages, and prosir Thomas Robinson, dated October 26, viding all necessaries for such forces as shall 1754: for on the very next day after this arrive, or be raised within your government. message was delivered, he sent down a copy “ As the articles above-mentioned are of a of the said letter to the house, accompanied local and peculiar nature, and arising entirewith another written message so timid and ly within your government, it is almost needconstructed, as to render it as embarrassing as less for me to acquaint you, that his majesty possible.
will expect, that the charge thereof be defrayThis third letter imported, that the mi-ed by his subjects belonging to the same. nisters had at last come to a resolution of But with regard to such other articles, which taking some measures of their own for the are of a more general concern, it is the king's defence of America. Amongst others it was pleasure, that the same should be supplied by said, the king had commanded two regiments a common fund, to be established for the beof foot, consisting of five hundred men each, 'nefit of all the colonies collectively in North,