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the sole, obstruction to the passing our bill for prises us extremely, that a request of this granting twenty thousand pounds for the house, respectfully addressed to the governor, king's use, in this time of imminent danger to that he would be pleased to lay before us those the British interest in North America." -Ad- instructions, or such part of them as might reding, “ May it please the governor, these re- late to the immediate - service of the crown, solutions, which are forced from us, we have and to the preservation of this his majesty's entered into with the utmost reluctancy; colony, in order that we might examine how and, in support of them, or any other part of far they interfered with that allegiance the our present conduct, we conceive it our in- proprietaries themselves, and all of us, owe to dispensable duty to conduct ourselves precise the crown, or with the privileges granted by ly within the bounds of sincerity and sober our charters, should be represented by our goreason, and to avoid every thing that is not in vernor as an act that "might have a tendency our opinion necessary to our own just vindi- to alienate the affections of the people of this cation."
province from his majesty's person and governYet more to manifest their ingenuity, they ment, and thereby greatly obstruct the meadeclared, in the next place, their readiness to sures he is taking, at a vast expense, for the retract the whole or any part of these re- preservation and protection of his subjects solves, on being convinced by a sight of the upon this continent.?. That thus contending governor's proprietary instructions, which it for the rights granted us by the royal charter, was still in his power to communicate, that which is the known rule of our conduct, should they had entertained a wrong opinion of them; have a tendency of that kind, under a king, but then, till that should be the case, they who has been graciously pleased to declare, presumed the governor himself could not but that nothing in this world can give him so allow, that they had good reason to say, they much pleasure as to see his subjects a flouwere under a necessity of making their hum- rishing and happy people,' is so foreign from ble application to the crown in support of our thoughts, and we trust will be so foreign their civil and religious liberties; and to think, to every impartial construction, that we may as it was most natural they should, that, if safely leave it without any further remarks of this could have been done, it would have been our own. But if it should have a tendency done ; as also, that the governor, at their re- to alienate the affections of the people from quest, would have concurred with them in an being bound by private proprietary instrucaddress to the proprietaries in support of their tions, the blame is not with us, who have charter, as it regarded the royal instructions never been consulted upon them; and if we only; and that, on the contrary, as circum- had been consulted, should have thought ourstances were, their apprehensions of the pro- selves obliged to declare, that we have a great prietary instructions, and the operation of dislike to proprietary instructions, and that so them, in defeating the bill by which they pro- far as they are against the prerogatives of the posed to demonstrate their readiness and crown, or an infringement of our charter, they cheerfulness in answering all the reasonable are illegal, and void in themselves." expectations of the crown, could not but be They then cite sir William Keith's declarawell grounded: so that it was with extreme tions concerning proprietary instructions beconcern, they found their governor, who was, fore inserted; and at the same time intimate, or ought to be, set over them for their pro- that he was the first governor who gave bond tection, endeavouring to represent them in a for the performance of them.-In answer to light they detested and abhorred.
that part of the proprietary instructions which “The governor is but in the beginning of the governor had so cheerfully laid before his adıninistration," said they, " and if, when them, concerning a militia, &c. they begged he received the proprietaries' commission, he leave to say, “that, as it requires money to be was, in a great measure, a stranger to our | levied upon the people for providing arms and constitution, we apprehend he still continues stores of war, and building magazines, we are a stranger not only to our constitution, but to of opinion it may be time enough to deliberate the inhabitants, if he does not certainly know, upon it, when we are informed how far he is that the king has not a more loyal people at liberty by his instructions to pass our bills; among all his subjects, than the inhabitants and whether himself, or the representatives are, and have ever been, since the first set- of the people, are the proper judges of the tlement of this province; nevertheless they manner of raising such monies. And when are convinced they ought not to be governed these, our civil and religious rights, are seby proprietary instructions in opposition to cured, we cannot doubt all will rise up as their charter, which is, in our opinion, the one man in behalf of our king, our country, foundation and sanction of our civil and reli- and our charters, according to our several gious liberties; and especially if these in- stations and abilities.” structions must be secreted from them, and by Coming then to the governor's state of their that means the whole country left without any revenue, they show, he was as much a stranknown rule of their conduct. And it sur- ger to that as to the people and the constitu
tion; and, that instead of having fourteen or arise, upon a supposal that our whole princififteen thousand pounds in bank, they could pal sum of eighty thousand pounds was always not have above seven thousand pounds; as yielding an interest; but this has ever been also, that, what with the very large sums they found impracticable, as considerable sums had paid for the support of government, and must be continually changing hands, by virfor Indian and other expenses, their treasury tue of our re-emitting acts.
Besides which, and loan-office were almost quite exhausted. the province has, out of that principal sum, After which they proceed as follows: " But lent considerable parts of it, without yielding admitting the governor's computation in all any interest at all; and particularly a debt its extent, if twenty thousand pounds, as he is from the city of Philadelphia, still due upon pleased to inform us, will go but a very little the first and second thirty thousand pounds' way to raise and maintain such troops as he acts, long since expired. And, until that is may think necessary, and without which we in our hands, it would be unjust to compute had better, in his opinion, do nothing at all, an interest arising from it, or upbraid us with how can the inconsiderable sum we have any it, as money which ought to have been in our power over, answer his demands, though we hands by law, whilst some may think we have should ruin the persons now outstanding in no power to sue for it by the laws in being." our loan-office, by the immediate sale of their Again: concerning the royal instructions, lands ? we are unwilling to make any further or act of queen Anne, said to have been remarks on this head, which has, we find, shamefully slighted and disregarded in that been heretofore insisted upon by our late go and the neighbouring provinces, they argued vernor, but carries with it, as we conceive, thus: “the neighbouring provinces must ansuch appearances of severity, without answer- swer for themselves; but, so far as regards ing any good purpose, that we think it our this colony, we find, by the votes of the house, indispensable duty to oppose it, as far as in that whilst col. Thomas had the act before justice we may; and now more especially, him, for emitting and re-emitting eighty thouwhen we have offered a bill which would sand pounds, this very act of the sixth of raise a generous sum of money immediately, queen Anne was considered, debated, and so for the use of the crown, in a manner that fully explained, that although exchange was would be most easy and most agreeable to us then higher than at this time, he (who was all. Whilst we are upon this article, as the undoubtedly under the same oaths and bonds governor must be in a great measure a stran- to observe the acts of trade with our present ger to our accounts, we take the liberty to governor) after mature deliberation, gave his remark, that the proprietary patents make, as assent to that act on the nineteenth of May, we are informed by the trustees, near one half 1739; which, after having been recommendof the mortgages now outstanding. These, ed by the merchants in England trading to after paying for their lands out of the money this province, as an act not only reasonable, borrowed from the province, are to improve but likewise necessary for carrying on the them with the remainder, if any; and as they commerce of this country,” the king was must have shelter for themselves at least, pleased to confirm it in a full council on the however mean, and some land cleared for twelfth day of May following. What then their subsistence, it necessarily puts them in the governor does, or can mean, by saying, arrears, let them be ever so honest and indus- we know that this province has shamefully trious; whilst the purchases of such their slighted a royal instruction, intended to enlands are constantly complied with on grant- force an act of the sixth of queen Anne, is ing the patents, the bulk of which, we pre- what we are entirely at a loss to imagine ; sume, may have been remitted to Great neither can we conceive any good reason, Britain, and makes a very sensible diminution why our governor should choose to call our of the silver and gold current among us: so bill for granting twenty thousand pounds for that all ranks of people, however flourishing the king's use, a bill for striking forty thouthe governor may be pleased to represent us, sand pounds, without any further explanation, complain justly for want of a due medium to though that bill had been repeatedly under carry on our trade; but as this inquiry is not his consideration. It would be, perhaps, too immediately before us, we shall at present unkind to suppose, as the bill itself, and the leave it, and proceed to inform the governor contents of it, would in all probability be unyet farther, that his computation of our annual known to our superiors, further than the grant income is also too high; for as our excise, to the crown, he could have the least intencommunibus annis,yields about three thousand tion to misrepresent the purport of it, and for pounds (out of which five hundred pounds is this reason we leave it entirely to his own yearly applied towards sinking the sum of reflection. The title of that bill is,“ an act five thousand pounds, heretofore granted to for striking forty thousand pounds in bills of the king's use) the interest payable into the credit, and for granting twenty thousand loan-office is much about the same sum ; and pounds thereof to the king's use, and to prohis error in the last article, we presume, might vide a fund for sinking the same; and for ap
plying the remainder to the exchange of torn contented themselves, from motives of pruand ragged bills now current in this pro-dence and moderation, with barely pointing vince;' and the governor well knows, it out this transaction, in hopes our honourable adds no more to our paper-currency than the proprietaries would see themselves at least very twenty thousand pounds granted the equally concerned with the representatives of king, and even that struck for no other rea- the people both in fact and right, and thereby son than to answer the immediate call of the might be induced to join cordially with the crown, and to make the grant effectual.” people of this province, in vindicating our char
In answer to the governor's assertion, that ter from the continual infraction of such inthe French were already in possession of part structions; which, if they must operate in the of their province, they instance the language manner the governor is pleased to contend for, constantly used here at home: to wit, that and our proprietary instructions must be bindthe French had invaded his majesty's territo-| ing upon us also, the rights derived to us by ries in Virginia; as also a map then lying the royal charter is a name only, whilst the before them, founded on authorities supplied very essence of it is effectually destroyed : by the board of trade and their own proprie- under the sanction of which charter, a sober, taries, wherein every fort built by the French industrious people, without any charge to the is placed beyond the western boundaries of crown or the proprietary, first settled this wilPennsylvania; and they again took refuge derness, and by their frugality, and the equity behind the cautions so minutely expressed of their laws, laid the foundation of a flourishand strongly insisted upon, in the first letter ing colony, which already, within the ordinafrom the secretary's office, urging, that while ry life of a man, has made a considerable adthe two crowns were still in a state of amity, dition to the dominions of the crown, by an init could answer no good purpose to contra- crease of dutiful and loyal subjects, and bears vene them; and that the king himself, having no mean rank in contributing to the wealth most graciously interposed, it would be more and trade of our mother country. prudent and becoming to consider him as the “Whether the above act for granting five most proper judge of the limits of his own thousand pounds for the king's use, or the act dominions.
for vesting lands in George M‘Call, were ever In their next section, they dispute the prosent home for the royal approbation, very litbability and almost the possibility of the ar- tle concerns us, as we presume the transrival of such a body as six thousand of the best | mitting our acts is the immediate duty of our troops of France at the lower fort upon the proprietaries, or their lieutenants, in pursuOhio, as asserted by the governor; insinuate, ance of the royal charter, which we look upthat such accounts would have deserved on as the anterior solemn royal instruction, more credit, if they had been transmitted from for the rule of their conduct, as well as of our Oswego, near which they must have necessa- own. rily passed ; and from whence very minute “Upon the whole, from what we have said, intelligence was received of the passage of we presume it evidently appears, that proprithose forces which first laid the foundation of etary instructions and restrictions upon their the enemy's strength upon the Ohio; and governors, as they have occasionally been leave the fact to rest upon its own evidence. made a part of the public records at different
After this referring to their dispute with times, have been judged and resolved by our governor Hamilton, and the information they governor, council, and the representatives of gave him of an instruction from the crown, the people, either, not to pass any private act, or act of privilege “ 1. Inconsistent with the legal prerogative to any individual, without a suspending clause, of the crown settled by act of parliament. which had never been enforced by the pro “2. Or a positive breach of the charter of prietaries, or observed by any governor, they privileges to the people. plead a necessity of informing the governor, “3. Or absurd in their conclusions, and though with great reluctance, “ That in the therefore impracticable. year 1735, governor Gordon passed an act for “4. Or void in themselves. Therefore, vesting more effectually certain lands in “Whenever the governor shall be pleased George M-Call, in direct contradiction to that to lay his proprietary instructions before us instruction, without the least mention of a sus- for our examination, and if then they should pending clause."
appear to be of the same kind as heretofore, And with an elevation of sentiment, style, his good judgment should lead him to conand manners, seldom seen in public papers, clude, that such considerations in life' as they finish their reply as follows:
our allegiance to the crown, or the immediate ti As we have reason to believe the assem- safety of the colony, &c. are sufficient inducebly was then acquainted with that instruction, ments for him to disobey them, notwithstandand as the bill particularly related to our ho- ing any penal bonds to the contrary, we shall nourable proprietaries, our last assembly, not-cheerfully continue to grant such further withstanding the indiscreet call upon them, | sums of money for the king's use, as the cir
cumstances of the country may bear, and in a science to disavow resistance by force; those manner we judge least burdensome to the in- expressions, he would needs have it, had the habitants of this province.”
tendency he ascribed to them; because, “he Lastly, that they might be able to set all very well knew how fond the people were of imputation and misrepresentation whatsoever their currency, and how averse to any reat defiance, they applied themselves to find straint upon it.” He endeavoured to embroil out some expedient, by which the service re- them with the crown, for having called the commended to them by the crown might be instruction in question, an infraction of the promoted as far as in them lay, even without royal charter. He reproached them both with the concurrence of the governor. In order ingratitude and with injustice, for being pleasto which, having thoroughly weighed the con- ed to be angry with their proprietaries. In tents of sir Thomas Robinson's last letter, vindicating the affections of those gentlemen and the state of the provincial treasury in to the province, he derived his argument from which there was scarce five hundred pounds their interest in it; and he is peremptory, remaining, they unanimously resolved to that, instead of entertaining designs to invade raise five thousand pounds on the credit of the the just rights and privileges of the inhabiprovince, for the accommodation of the king's tants, there was nothing they so much detesttroops; and impowered certain members of ed and abhorred; he adhered to the resolutheir own to negotiate the loan, and allow tion he had taken, nevertheless, not to lay such interest as should be found necessary. his instructions before them at that time; be
The controversy, however, which this new ing sensible they were no way necessary, governor had been so ingenious as to work and that the assembly, having already deup to such a pitch in so short a time, was, by clared them destructive to their liberties, the continuance of the same ingenuity, to be they were not in a proper temper for the constill continued as warm as ever.
sideration of them; to show he was not reAccordingly, down came another message strained by proprietary instructions from passfrom him, in which he complains to the as- ing bills for the defence of the country, he sembly, of the very great obscurity, unneces- declares himself ready to pass a law for esta, sary repetitions, and unmeaning paragraphs blishing a militia, &c. and for emitting any contained in their last perforinance; and sum in paper-money, on proprietary terms; through the whole, manifests that spirit of that is to say, on such funds as might sink perverseness, which is but too prevalent with the same in five years. He perseveres in inost men on the like occasions. Of the in- maintaining, that the act of the sixth of accuracies before acknowledged in the per- queen Anne had been shamefully slighted formance (and which are perhaps unavoidable even in their province; because pieces of eight in pieces drawn up from a variety of sugges were then, and had been, for many years tions, and subject to a variety of alterations past, current at seven shillings and sixpence; and additions,) he takes all the advantage he whereas, according to that act, they should can; and does indeed foul the water, though pass for six shillings only, : as if money, like he cannot divert the current.
all other commodities, would not find and fix It would be endless to wade through all the its own value, in spite of all the precautions minutenesses of so tedious a contest; and and provisions the wit of man could invent odds if the reader did not leave the writer in He also maintained, that, on a re-examinathe midst of it.
tion of the provincial accounts, their revenue To be as concise as possible, therefore : his was seven thousand three hundred and eighpaper is as insidious as that of the assembly ty one pounds per annum, clear of the five was candid and open. He would not allow hundred pounds per annum for sinking the five that he had promised them a sight of his in- thousand pounds, formerly given for the king's structions, with regard to their bill for grant- use ; and, that the sums due, and which, by ing twenty thousand pounds to the king; the laws in being, should have been paid in which was so far true, because he could have the September preceding, amounted at least none regarding that particular measure; he to fourteen thousand pounds. He averred, would not allow that he had represented they could not but be sensible that the twentheir application for those instructions, as hav- ty thousand pounds currency they proposed ing a tendency to alienate the affections of to give, and called a generous sum, was very the people from the king; which was also insufficient to answer the exigence, and that true, because such his representation had it was not two pence in the pound, upon the been confined to the expressions they had just and real value of the estates of the promade use of concerning the invasion of their vince; and, in short, he said whatsoever else civil and religious liberties; the last of which occurred to him, which could favour his puris indeed no otherwise to be accounted for, pose of figuring here at home: as if he was than by the demand made upon them, to es in all respects right, and the assembly in all tablish a militia, and thereby oblige those to respects wrong. carry arms, who made it a point of con Argumentatively then, if not historically,
we have now the merits of the case before sembly now thought it high time to make us, and may safely pronounce, that, if instruc- their appeal; in humble confidence, that a tions may or can be construed into laws, in- fair and modest state of their case, would restructions are then of more value than pro- commend them to the royal protection, and clamations, which do not pretend to any such skreen them from the malignity of their adauthority.-- That, though grants from the versaries. crown are in the first instance matter of grace, That the governor, however, might not, in the subject may claim the benefit of them as the mean time, remain ignorant of their senmatter of right.—That when the prerogative timents, they made another application to him has once laid any restraint on itself, nothing by message; in which they apprised him of short of a positive act of forfeiture, or act what they had done, and of their joining issue of parliament, can authorize any species of with him in submitting their cause to his maresumption. That if a subsequent instruc- jesty's decision; as also, of their inclination to tion may cancel or obviáte an original grant, adjourn till May, for the sake of their own pricharters, under all the sanctions the preroga-vate affairs, to relieve the province from the tive can give them, are no better than quick- expense they sat at, and suspend the uneasands. That in the charter given to William siness which a contest, like to be endless, and Penn, Esq. and solemnly accepted as the ba- in which they were treated with so little desis of government, by his followers, there is no cency, had given to them. And having thus, reserve on the behalf of the crown, to tie up as they observed, reduced what immediately the province from making the same use of its concerned them, within a narrow compass, credit, which is the privilege of every private they first declare, it was hard for them to consubject.-—That, notwithstanding all the pre-jecture, how the governor came by his knowtended sacro-sanctitude of an instruction, pro- ledge of the people's fondness of their currenbationary at first, neither renewed or refer- cy, and aversion to restraints on that head; red to, directly or indirectly, by his majesty seeing they had not petitioned for any increase or his ministers afterwards, and virtually dis- of it, nor the assembly offered any such bill, charged by a subsequent act of parliament, during his administration, except that which which expressly restrained some colonies, comprehended the sum given for the king's and consequently left the rest in possession use, and that only as the best method they of their ancient liberty, the governor was no- could devise for making the grant effectual. toriously ready to dispense with it on proprie- On the behalf of the late assemblies, they next tary terms.-- That the difference between insiñuate, that when they did offer such bills five and ten years for sinking the bills, was a they were but for a very moderate sum, foundpoint in which the national interest had no con- ed on minute calculations of their trade, and cern.- That if the eastern colonies, which guarded against the danger of depreciation, were those restrained by the said act, might by such securities as long experience had nevertheless, in case of exigence, make new shown to be effectual. Proceeding then to issues of paper-money, those unrestrained the governor's re-assertion concerning the might surely do the same in the like case, on shameful slights put on the money-act of such terms, and after a mode, as appeared queen Anne, they appeal to the testimony of most reasonable to themselves.-That, accord- the board of trade in favour of their own as ing to all the representations of the governor a reasonable act, and the royal sanction given to the assembly, if true, the fate of the pro- thereto, by which it is declared, that their vince, if not of the public, depended on their provincial bills of credit are lawful money of giving a supply.--That, consequently, no exi- America, according to the said act of queen gency could be inore pressing than the pre- Anne; as also to the course of exchange ever sent, nor emission of paper-money better since, as a full confutation of his charge. warranted.—And that he could, nevertheless, They further plead a necessity to differ from leave the province exposed to all the calami- him in his state of the public money ; assure ties which that exigence could possibly bring him the computations he relied upon were upon it, or upon the service in general, ra- made without skill, or a sufficient knowledge ther than give up one proprietary item: of their laws; adhere to the justice and recwhereas the difficulty imposed upon the peo- titude of their own state; maintain, that by ple manifestly was, either to be a prey to the laws in being, seven thousand pounds was their invaders, or give up every privilege that the most they had power over, which sum, made their country worth defending: which since their last settlement, had been greatly shows, in the fullest, clearest, and most unan- reduced by the very heavy charges of governswerable manner, that all proprietary inter- ment; and, having recapitulated what the go position between the sovereign and subject, vernor had been pleased to say concerning the is alike injurious to both; and that the sole insufficiency of their grant, &c. conclude in cism of an imperium in imperia, could hard- the following spirited manner: ly be more emphatically illustrated.
What the governor may think sufficient, To the crown, under this difficulty, the as- ' is as much a mystery to us, as he may appre