Imágenes de página

America; for which purpose you will use | lies before us; nevertheless, we do assure your utmost endeavours to induce the assem- him, that though in a matter of small importbly of your province to raise, forthwith, as ance we might not, perhaps, be very tenacious large a sum as can be afforded, as their con- of our own sentiments; yet, in this case, our tribution to this common fund, to be employ- all is concerned, and if we should not act beed, provisionally, for the general service of coming the rights our birth, as Englishmen, North America, particularly for paying the entitles us to, we might appear unworthy of charge of levying the troops to make up the the regard we have already experienced, and complement of the regiments above-mention- have good reason to hope for hereafter, from ed, until such time as a plan of general union a British parliament." of his majesty's northern colonies, for their “ It appears that the case, as stated to the common defence, can be perfected.

attorney-general, regards only emissions of “ You will carefully confer, or correspond, bills of credit on common and ordinary occaas you shall have opportunities, upon every sions; and, in our opinion, very little, if it all, thing relative to the present service, with the affects the present bill: and it is remarkable, said general, sir William Pepperell, and go that there is not the least notice taken of the vernor Shirley, or either of them; and as it act for granting five thousand pounds for the is the king's intention to give all proper en- king's use, which governor Thomas passed couragement to such persons who shall en- without a suspending clause, by extending gage to serve upon this occasion, you will ac- this very excise act for ten years, which we quaint all such persons, in the king's name, have now again extended for the same term that they will receive arms and clothing from of years only, and loaded it with a grant of hence, and that they shall be sent back, if de twenty thousand pounds. sired, to their respective habitations, when the “ As colonel Thomas gave his assent to service in America shall be over.

that act after the receipt of the additional in" As the several governors in all the king's struction, which the governor has now sent provinces and colonies in North America will down with our bill, and as we presume he has receive, by this conveyance, a letter to the no other or later instructions from the crown, same effect with this which I now send you, though he has since received the royal approthey will be prepared at the same time to obey bation, we hope he will not think himself his majesty's commands.—And I am to direct more restricted by it, than the gentleman to you to correspond with all, or either of them, whom it was immediately directed; who has occasionally, as you shall find it expedient for never suffered in his honour, that we know the general service."

of, or incurred the king's displeasure for givIt is plain by the general drift of this letter, ing his assent to that bill, and at this time that it related equally to every governor and holds a government of great importance unevery government of North America : and yet der the immediate powers of the crown. the governor of Pennsylvania did his best to “Governor Hamilton, we find, entered into narrow the application of it to Pennsylvania bonds and penalties (among other things) that only. These are his words: “ you will he shall from time to time, and all times, observe by the secretary of state's letter, that hereafter, so long as he shall continue lieuit is his majesty's pleasure we should contri- tenant-governor of the said province, observe, bute as far as we can to the having about three perform, and obey all such directions and inthousand men in readiness to enlist; that we structions, which now are, or shall at any should provide a quantity of fresh provisions time be given, or sent to him, by his majesty, for the troops, and necessaries for the officers his heirs, and successors, or from any person that may have occasion to travel by land ; that or persons, now acting, or that hereafter shall the orders to be issued by the commander in act, by authority from his majesty, his heirs chief for quartering the soldiers, and impress- and successors, and pursuant to, and for the ing carriages, should be carried into exact ex- putting in execution the several acts of trade ecution; and that all necessaries should be and navigation, relating to the plantations, provided for such troops as shall arrive or be &c. which bond, or bonds of the like tenor, raised within this government.—His majesty we presume our governor may have entered expects, that as the several articles, above into before he received the royal approbation: mentioned, are of a local and peculiar nature, and yet our late governor seems clearly in his and arising entirely within this government, reasoning with former assemblies, to have ac. that the charge thereof should be defrayed by knowledged he thought himself at liberty to his subjects within the same.”

pass acts of the tenor of our present bill for To both these messages the assembly im- granting money for the king's use; and never mediately applied themselves, to prepare suit- offered a suspending clanse, notwithstanding able answers; and, beginning with the first, his bonds to the crown; but whether he might, among other things said, “We have the mis- or might not, be safe in passing a bill of the fortune to differ in opinion from the governor, kind mentioned in his state of the case, could after considering the case maturely as it now regard himself only, and does, by no means,

VOL. II. ...Å

determine the rights we claim under the royal | his assent to our bill ? and, if he has, that he charter. And we have the pleasure to assure would be pleased to lay those instructions be the governor, we have been credibly informed fore us for our consideration." that the board of trade, about a year ago, stat And the answer to the second was as fol ed a question to the attorney and solicitor-ge-lows: neral, with respect to the validity of this in “ The undoubted proofs his majesty hai struction of a suspending clause, over govern- ever given of his gracious and paternal affec ments claiming particular rights by charter; tion for all his subjects, however distant fron to which they have not yet given any answer, his royal presence, and the fresh marks we that we can learn. And we know, that not have now before us of his care and regard for withstanding two bills extending the royal the welfare and security of his subjects ir instructions over councils and assemblies in North America, excite in us the warmest re America had been attempted in parliament turns of duty and gratitude ; and we hope we without success, and a third bill was brought have fully testified, that we have nothing in with the same clause, yet it could not ob- more at heart, in all our deliberations, than tain a passage there. And we are informed, to answer the reasonable expectations of the that a noble friend to liberty and the rights of crown from this young but loyal colony. We the British subject, a member of that house, have cheerfully passed a bill for granting exposed this third attempt so fully, upon the twenty thousand pounds for the king's use, second reading of the bill, that the clauses which now lies before the governor for his apon this head objected to were dropt without a probation, and we hope will answer all the division in the committee. And until such purposes recommended to his care by sir acts of parliament shall be obtained, which Thomas Robinson's letter of the 26th of Octowe have good reason to hope will never be ber last." imposed upon us, the governor must agree It was now the governor's turn; and the with us, that it is our duty to defend the reader must recollect his former declarations, rights and privileges we enjoy under the in order to wonder enough at his introductory royal charter.

paragraph, which was as follows: " As in the present case, we are not bound “Gentlemen, when your bill for striking by any acts of parliament, and are certainly twenty thousand pounds, &c. was before me, clear of the act limiting the eastern colonies, I duly considered the dangerous circumboth as to the force and the intention of it, we stances in which the province was involved; hope the governor, from his known abilities, and the absolute necessity of speedy measures and good will to the prosperity of this pro- to remove the French from their encroachvince, will immediately discern the differ- ments, and this induced me, instead of adding cnce between this bill and acts of assembly a cause to suspend the force of the act till his creating bills of credit on common and ordi- majesty's pleasures could be known, to send nary occasions. What force royal instructions it back to you, that you might frame such a may have on bills of credit passed on com- one as I was at liberty to give my consent to; mon and ordinary occasions is not immediately and at the same time to signify to you, that I before us, and may be considered at a proper would agree to the striking any sum the pretime. But we hope the governor, notwith- sent emergency might require, provided funds standing any penal bond he may have entered were established for sinking the same in five into, will, on reflection, think himself at a li- years, that being the term prescribed by an berty, and find it consistent with his safety act of parliament for regulating paper-money and honour, to give his assent to this bill, in the eastern governments; and I thought which may, at this time, be of such great ser- the reason of that act extended here, though vice to the British interest in America. the force of it did not; and I hoped that i

“ But if we should unhappily still differ in should be excused, if I so far relaxed the inopinion, notwithstanding these reasons, and struction upon the present occasion, as to act such as have been offered by our former as- agreeable to the rule laid down by parliament semblies, we must be obliged, as our last re- for the neighbouring governments, and I am source, to apply to the crown for redress, or sorry, for the sake of the public, to find by your to the lords of trade, or our proprietaries, as message, that you have so far misapprehendthe case may require; in which, we doubt ed me, as to conceive that I intended to insist not, the governor will favour us with his as on the suspending clause in this dangerous sistance. And in order to furnish ourselves situation of affairs, which the words of my with every thing necessary for our own vin- message do in no wise import, and that upon dication, and that this case may appear in its the whole, you refuse to accede to the reasonfull light, we entreat the governor will be able measures I proposed.”—Proceeding then pleased to inform us, whether the royal in- to Ryder's opinion; he would not allow, it restruction is the only impediment; or whether garded only common and ordinary emissions: he has any farther instructions from our pro said, that if governor Thomas was never cenprietaries, which influence him in refusing sured for dispensing with the instruction, it

was because the transaction itself had never by his majesty, in a manner agreeable to his been made known to his majesty or his minis- royal directions (it has been already observed, ters; that the fact mentioned by them, relat- that no manner had been, or could be, with ing to the case laid by the lords of trade be- propriety, directed by the king] they insisted fore the attorney and solicitor-general, was on his passing the bill, in the shape they had quite unknown to him; that, however, when sent it up, though before informed he could they should report their opinion, and his nia- not do it; that he then again assured them, jesty should think fit to issue different instruc- he would not assent to that or any other bill tions, he should endeavour to pay the proper for emitting paper-money, but upon the terms obedience; that the debates in parliament, &c. above-mentioned; he also took occasion to had little connexion with the matter then be add, among other things, that this dispute so fore them; that though the parliament did not long depending, might certainly have receivagree to give a general sanction to all instruc- ed his majesty's determination long ago, had tions from his majesty, yet the instruction in they applied for it-[which, by the way, question having been the result of addresses might have been retorted with equal truth on from both houses, it could not be doubted but the proprietaries]—That, were there no other they would support their own act; that he method of raising money for the present serjoined with them in opinion, that the only me- vice, but that by them proposed and insisted thod to have the validity and force of the same upon, their conduct might have appeared in a finally determined would be by an application more favourable light; but that as they had, to his majesty, and was desirous they should or ought to have had in bank, by the laws in lay the whole affair before his majesty's mi- being, fourteen or fifteen thousands pounds, nisters; that being, as he was, in a great mea- together with a revenue of seven thousand sure, a stranger to their constitution, the pro-pounds a year; as the city and province were prietaries' instructions were quite necessary in rich and flourishing circumstances, the peoto him; that those he had received froin them, ple numerous, and burdened with none or very were so perfectly calculated to promote and trifling taxes, he could not consent to pass the secure the happiness of the province, and so bill proposed; it being (said he) a direct reasonable in themselves, that they required breach of a royal instruction intended to ennothing of him, but what he should have force an act of parliament of the sixth of queen thought it his duty to do without them: that Anne, which (whether act or instructions is though he did not think it quite decent, and doubtful] they knew had been shamefully he believed unprecedented, for a governor to slighted and disregarded in this and the neighbe called upon for a sight of his instructions, bouring provinces. Upon the whole," conhe would nevertheless communicate them to tinued he,“you will consider, gentlemen, in the house whenever the public service should what light you will appear to his majesty and require it; that, accordingly, he took that op- a British parliament, who are expending great portunity to acquaint them, that he had it in

sums of money for the defence of these colocharge from the proprietaries, to recommend nies, while you, the very province most conto them, in the most pressing manner, to pro-cerned as being invaded, instead of contributvide with all imaginable despatch for the de- ing towards your own defence, are entering fence and safety of the province, not only by into an ill-timed controversy concerning the

affording such aids as his majesty from time validity of royal instructions, which might i to time should require, but by establishing a have been determined long ago, and may be

regular militia, providing arms and stores of delayed to a more convenient time, without war, and building proper magazines ; all to be any the least injury to the rights of the peodone in such a manner as to be least burden- ple. Let me, therefore, gentlemen, once more some to the inhabitants, and particularly so, recommend the present unbappy circumas not to oblige any to bear arms who were stances of this country to your most serious or might be conscientiously scrupulous against consideration; and entreat you to lay aside it; that he required this, in pursuance of the (for the present at least) every thing that may proprietaries' instructions; and that he was admit of any dispute, and enter heartily into the more urgent in it, because the province such measures as may best answer the public never had been in more imminent danger than expectations, and assist his majesty in the it was at that time: that being to give true measures he has concerted, and is carrying and exact accounts of the state of the province into execution, for the preservation of this to his majesty and his ministers, as well as to country.” the proprietaries, he desired a clear and de The assembly again, as if to give the goterminate answer to this point, that he might vernor time for second thoughts, sent him up be able to lay the same before his majesty in the reply that follows. such a manner as might make the interposi “Before we enter upon the consideration of tion of parliament unnecessary; that he was the other parts of the governor's message of really concerned to find, that instead of pro- the 24th instant, we must acknowledge ourviding for the articles recommended to them selves engaged to return him our hearty


thanks for informing us, that, as he was crown for information, and former governors in a great measure a stranger to our consti- had occasionally laid particular instructions tution, and, to be so highly intrusted by the before the assemblies, he did not think assemproprietaries, it seemed quite necessary he blies had a right to have them all laid before should receive instructions from them. And them upon demand ; and was still of opinion, notwithstanding he may think ‘it not quite that their application for that purpose was irdecent, or may believe it unprecedented, for regular and unprecedented; that it was true a governor to be called upon for a sight of his he had proprietary instructions as all other instructions, yet he will communicate them to governors had had; but that he (who it the house whenever the public service shall seems was to be the only judge] could not require it.'-In return to this candid declara- think it then for his majesty's service, or the tion, and the assurance he is pleased to give interest of the province, to communicate them us, as well as the ready furnishing us with farther than he had already done; especially other parts of those instructions, we beg leave as they claimed it as a right, and seemed into inform the governor, that we not only ap- dustriously to seek fresh matter of dispute prehend it the undoubted right of a British about them, when the public service required parliament to address the crown for such in- they should be otherwise employed, when they formation as they judge absolutely necessary expressed so great a dislike to them, and when to their deliberations, but also, that the pro- they had avowed a purpose of making the prietary instructions to our former governors, force and validity of them, the great end of have been repeatedly laid before the assem- their petition to the crown, and all this withblies of this province."

out so much as knowing, except in what reHere certain instances were recited; and lated to a militia, &c. what those instructions the sequel was in these words: “We, there were; that, having assigned the royal infore, under these considerations, and for that struction, and the attorney-general's opinion we are of opinion those proprietary instruc- upon it, as his reasons for not agreeing to tions, which the governor is pleased to inform their bill for striking forty thousand pounds, us our proprietaries gave him on their appoint- he should be glad to know upon what informing and intrusting him with this government, ation they had given it as their opinion, that are the principal, if not the sole, obstructions proprietary instructions had been the princito the passing our bill for granting twenty pal if not the sole directors of his conduct, or thousand pounds for the king's use; and also, had become so intimately acquainted with his for that whatever bills we might prepare for private sentiments, as to know, that when he this, or any other purpose, after all the expense said one thing he meant another; that he had to the country, and after all our pains in fram- been, and still was, desirous, they should aping them, would be liable to the same diffi- ply to the crown for a determination of the culties, unless we could know what those pro- dispute between them; but that as he did prietary instructions are. We say, under not know the civil or religious liberties of these considerations, and from the regard our the people were invaded by the instruction governor is pleased to express for our charter, which gave rise to it, he could have no intenand our liberties, we earnestly request he tion to consent to an application in support of would now candidly communicate those in- them; that an invasion of the civil and relistructions to us, as the time when the gious liberty of a people, was to be reckoned public service requires it,' in the most par- among the worst of crimes, and was then most ticular manner; for, as we are now under an aggravated when committed by those who absolute necessity of addressing the crown, in were bound both by their oaths and their duty, support of our civil and religious liberties, in to preserve those blessings, and protect the which we have the pleasure of the governor's people in the enjoyment of them; that his saconcurrence, and indeed his desire that we cred majesty, who had so long and so happily should apply to his majesty on this occasion, governed his people upon constitutional prinwe must, in justice to ourselves, and in disciples only, disdained a thought of doing or charge of the duty we owe to those we re- approving any thing that was otherwise ; that present, make those proprietary instructions, a British parliament would never esteem a and the force and validity of them, the great royal instruction, issued at their own request, end of our humble petition to the crown at and intended to enforce a good and wholethis time, unless the governor shall be pleas- some law, in the least destructive of the civil ed to convince us to the contrary."

and religious liberties of any part of his maIt was 'not till the fourth day after this jesty's subjects, whatever they, the represenmessage was presented, that the governor re- tatives of Pennsylvania, might do; that it joined: during which interval the business gave him particular concern, that they should of the session seems to have been wholly at a purposely enter into a dispute about that instand; and the language he then used was struction, and choose to publish such sentito the following effect : " That though the ments of his majesty's government, at a time house of commons had a right to address the like that, when a French army were fortify


ing themselves in their country; that he | royal instructions, were indeed the only obearnestly recommended to them to consider, stacle to the public service. whether such expressions might not have a But we anticipate—the assembly did not tendency to alienate the affections of the peo- stop here; but unanimously came to such reple from his majesty's person and government, solutions, and grafted such an address upon and thereby greatly obstruct the measures he them, as, notwithstanding some few inaccuwas taking at a vast expense, for the preser- racies, must ever do as much honour to their vation and protection of his subjects on that understandings as justice to their cause, and continent; that he had lately received intel- the noble principles it was founded upon. ligence that six thousand of the best troops With reference to the conduct of their preof France were actually arrived at the lower decessors in former assemblies, and the sucfort on the Ohio, and were there employed in cess of their honest endeavours for continufortifying the country, that this ought to con- ing to them the invaluable blessings they envince them, France had formed some grand joyed under their charters, derived from the design on that continent, and that as they had royal clemency and goodness, and the justice made their first attack upon Pennsylvania, as and benevolence of their founder, they set the most plentiful and most defenceless part out; and declared themselves sufficiently of his majesty's dominions, so in a particular animated by their examples to pursue faithmanner, it behoved them to exert themselves fully the same path which they had trod beaccordingly; and that he must, therefore, en. fore them. treat them once more, to waive all disputes Having then glanced at the governor's evatill a more favourable season, to consider se- sion of his promise concerning his proprietary riously the dangers their country was expos- instructions, and the papers which had passed to, and not only grant the supplies required between the proprietaries and the assemed, but enable him to raise a considerable body bly, as the ground of their proceedings, they of men, to be employed in conjunction with inserted the unanimous resolutions they had his majesty's troops, establish a regular militia, come to, which were as follow, viz. provide the necessary stores of war, &c. that “That it is the opinion of this house, that the province, for want of discipline, might no the late governor, who was, we presume, as longer be left an easy prey to a much weak- much bound by the additional instruction to er body of men, than were then encamped col. Thomas, in 1740, as our present governor within a few days of this city.”

is or can be, has clearly admitted in his reaHow grossly uncandid and clumsily crafty sonings with our last assembly, that it was this rhapsody was, appears at the first glance; an absurdity too glaring, to suppose that any and its operation could not but be suitable to government would voluntarily tie up the its contents.

hands of its subjects from serving it by such In short, the assembly, upon the second means as they are able, in cases of great emerreading of this and his former message, ob- gency; and that col. Thomas, in passing serving, that the governor called upon them the act for granting five thousand pounds, for to show, upon what information they founded the king's use, in the

year 1746, by extendtheir opinion, that he was restrained by pro ing the excise act for ten years, was so far prietary instructions from passing their bill, from acting contrary to the instruction he had recourse to their former proceedings in had received from the lords justices in 1740, relation to the proprietaries bearing a propor- that the very contrary was evident;' and tionable part of the expenses incurred on In- that the said instruction was not binding updian affairs; and the whole having been read on him from passing a bill in cases of great and duly considered, upon the issue made the emergency, of the same tenor with our bill following order, to wit:

for granting twenty thousand pounds, for the “ That the representation from the assem- king's use, which our governor has now been bly to the proprietaries in 1751, the proprie- pleased to refuse his assent to. taries answer thereto laid before the house in “That it is the opinion of this house, that May, 1753, and the report of a committee of the governor is undoubtedly bound by proassembly at that time on the said answer prietary instructions, and that they may be, (neither of which have as yet been made pub- and we believe they really are, or some of lic) be now printed with the minutes of this them are, such as, independent of the royal sitting.”—And they were printed according- instruction, limit or restrain him from pass17.-Šo that the whole province had now for ing acts, which, by the royal and provincial the first time the whole case before their charters, we have an undoubted right to offer, eyes, and could not help being convinced by and by which he has, or ought to have, full these emphatical words, in clause fourteen, powers to give his assent to, as governor of of the proprietary answer, before pointed out, this province. “ especially if we shall be induced, from the " That it is the opinion of this house, that state of your trade, to consent to an increase these proprietary instructions, or some one or of your paper-currency,” that proprietary, not more of them, is, or are, the principal, if not

« AnteriorContinuar »