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hend his proprietary instructions are; but, we To this message the governor returned presume, it may be sufficient for all the pur- a short answer in these words: poses in sir Thomas Robinson's last letter, “ Gentlemen, and as much or more, than we think, can be “I am very much surprised at your proreasonably expected from us. How the go- posal to adjourn till May, as you have made vernor became so suddenly acquainted with no provision for the defence of the province, the real value of our estates, is not easy to or granted the supplies expected by the crown, conceive; but we know from long experience, and recommended by the secretary of state's having many of us received our birth in this letters: I must, therefore, object to the proprovince, that the inhabitants are not gene- posed adjournment, while things remain in rally wealthy or rich, though we believe them this situation, and hope you will, in considerto be, in the main, frugal and industrious, yet ation of the danger to which your country it is evident that their lands are greatly in- stands exposed, continue sitting till you have cumbered with their debts to the public. granted the supplies to the crown, and effectFrom these considerations, we are obliged to ually provided for the defence of the people think the governor's estimation of our wealth you represent; but if you are determined to is undoubtedly too high, unless he includes the rise at this time without doing any thing, revalue of the proprietary lands; for, by the remember it is your own act, and all the fatal port of a committee of assembly in August, consequences that may attend your leaving 1752, it appears, that the taxables of this pro- the province in this defenceless state, must vince did not exceed twenty-two thousand; lie at your doors." and the grant we have offered of twenty thou The house in return unanimously resolved, sand pounds, from the best calculations we can “ That the governor has been respectfully make, doth at least amount to five times the and repeatedly solicited by this house, to pass sum that hath ever been raised by a two- a bill presented to him, for granting twenty penny tax through this province. As we thousand pounds for the king's use, which, in think the governor cannot be a competent our opinion would have answered the expecjudge of the real value of our estates, in this tations of the crown from this province, as little time of his administration, and as we signified by the secretary of state's letters, have now submitted our cause to higher de had the governor been pleased to haye given termination, we conceive ourselves less con- it his assent; therefore whatever ill consecerned in his computations of our estates, quences ensue, from supplies not having been whatever they may be.
granted at this critical juncture, must lie at “The governor is pleased to inform us, his door." * That the proprietaries are too nearly inter The governor, by his secretary, demanded ested in the prosperity of this country, to do a copy of their minutes. The house ordered any thing to its prejudice, and he should have the minutes both of this and their last sessions imagined that the people could not now stand to be printed, and that a copy finished should in need of any proofs of the proprietary affec- be delivered to the governor: and, having tion, or suspect them of having any designs to then resolved to adhere to their adjournment, invade their just rights and privileges, which, adjourned accordingly. he is confident, they detest and abhor. We In the beginning of March, however, the cannot suppose the governor would mean they governor thought fit to re-assemble them, and detest and abhor our just rights and privileges; assigned the arrival of general Braddock, the and yet we are convinced the clause in their necessity of considering what he had to procommission to him, their lieutenant, whereby pose without delay, and making the provisions they impower him to act as fully and amply, expected by his majesty for the service in to all intents, constructions, and purposes, as time, as his reasons for so doing. In the they themselves might or could do, were they same message he also acquainted them, personally present, You, (our governor) fol- "That he had issued a commission to a numlowing and observing such orders, instruc- ber of men acquainted with the country, to tions, and directions, as you now have, or form a plan of opening roads from the inhahereafter, from time to time, shall receive bited parts of the province westward towards
us, or our heirs,' is not only repugnant the Ohio, at the requisition of sir John St. to our just rights and privileges, but imprac- Clair, quarter-master-general, to facilitate ticable, against common sense, against law, the march of the troops, conveyance of proviand void in itself; and yet if the governor sions, &c. and also to prepare an estimate of should think his hands are so tied up by these the expense, which he called upon them to instructions, that he is not at liberty to act for provide for; also, to be enabled to take such the public good, we must conclude they are a part in the measures proposed by the eastof dangerous consequence at all times, and ern governments for the maintenance of his particularly in this time of imminent danger, majesty's just rights, &c. as became the honot only to ourselves, but to the British inter- nour and interest of a province circumstanced est in North America."
like theirs. Having then premised, that it
was said the large supply of provisions fur- the twelfth instant, above two months after nished to the French from these colonies, not your rising, and then only a part of them Pennsylvania in particular, which he acknow were sent me in print, and I have not yet ledged had little concern in that unnatural seen the whole of them. trade, had enabled the enemy to support their “ The keeping your proceedings thus a seforces in America, he informed them, he had cret from me, I take to be a very unconstitugiven the officers of the customs preventive tional and extraordinary measure, liable to a orders in relation thereto; and added, that construction that I do not choose at present to he made no doubt of their joining with him put upon it, but only to acquaint you that I in a law to make those orders more effectual. expect you will order your clerk to attend me The desire of the eastern governments, that every night with the minutes of the day, that Pennsylvania would join with them in their I may know what is done and doing in your operations to frustrate the schemes of the house, and be able in time to lay the same French, made his next topic; and he grafted before his majesty and his ministers, who exa hope upon it, that they would enable him pect to be regularly informed of the measures to take such part as became the honour and taking by the legislatures of the colonies.” interest of a province, circumstanced like Both were answered the next day in subtheirs. The establishment of a post between stance thus, " That they were humbly of opiPhiladelphia and a place called Winchester, nion, such letters as those in question, conat the desire of general Braddock, was what | taining the commands of the crown, ought he recommended next; and that again was generally to be inserted in their minutes as followed by another desire of the same gene- being the foundation of their proceedings, and ral's, that the quotas for the common fund of what might be necessary for their justification; the several provinces, recommended by the that those letters were communicated withsecretary of state, might be lodged in the out the least caution to keep the contents a hands of a treasurer, subject to his demands, secret; that the latter, which was the most in order to expedite business; and the general material of the two, was a circular letter being perfectly disinterested, as also willing which had been sent in effect to all the proto account for his disbursements, he hoped vinces and colonies in North America, and of they would put it in his power to return him which the substance, as they were informed, a satisfactory answer; and for a conclusion, had been printed in the speeches of several he recommended vigour, unanimity, and des- governors to their assemblies; that the depatch, that the happy opportunity put into the sign of sending two regiments from England, hands of the colonies by his majesty's paternal and raising two more in America, was no secare, &c. might not be lost.”
cret, having been avowed even in the LonThat there was no retrospect in this mes- don Gazette; that the governor himself had sage was some recommendation of it; but the given very full and particular abstracts of merit of this forbearance lasted no longer than those letters, in his messages which had been till the afternoon of the very same day, when printed in their own gazettes long before the the house was artfully perplexed with two house adjourned, and passed without objecmessages more, which could not but revive tion; that they were, therefore, surprised at the memory of past dissensions, and conse- the exceptions started now to the insertion quently the ill humour they had produced. of them in their minutes, and, no single inThe first contained a reprimand for their hav- convenience to result from it, having been ing printed sir T. Robinson's letters, commu- pointed out, were not inclined to expunge nicated to them without his, the governor's, them; that knowing not what assurances of privilege or consent, and a caution against the secresy would be satisfactory, they could only publication of them; and an intimation, that say, that whenever it should appear to the though he had letters and other papers relat- house to be necessary for the king's service, or ing to his majesty's service to communicate to the public good, to keep any matters laid be. them, he did not think it safe to do it, without fore them secret, proper measures, they doubtproper assurances that the contents should re-ed not, would be taken for that purpose." main a secret. The second being nearly as Proceeding then to what related to the goshort, and rather more extraordinary, shall be vernor's demand of a copy of their minutes, given in his own words :
they adjourned, “ That they had ordered the “ Gentlemen,
said minutes to be printed with all conveni“On the tenth of January last, I demanded, ent speed, and, when finished, that a copy by the secretary, a copy of the minutes of should be delivered as required; that as soon your proceedings, which you promised to send as they could be copied and revised by a comme; but not receiving them, I did, on the mittee of the house, they were put to press; twenty-ninth of the same month, by letter to and that the governor had been supplied with the speaker, again demand them, and have a copy of the greatest part of them even befrequently, by the secretary, reiterated my re-fore they were finished; that it had been the quest, but could not obtain a sight of them till constant practice of the house to have their
minutes so revised, and to postpone the said and they ordered the printer to proceed with revisal, till after the rising of the house; and the publication of their minutes as they then that till this was done, no copies had ever been stood ; and with regard to the latter, they ingiven out, unless of special votes on special formed the governor by message, " that when occasions; that the principal matters contain their minutes should be revised and printed ed in these minutes were generally to be after the end of the session according to long found in the governor's speeches or messages, continued custom, a fair copy should be preand the answers of the house; and that these, sented to the governor ; but that till then they together with such votes as were most mate- hoped the governor would excuse them if rial, were, for the most part, immediately they did not permit any body to inspect them, printed in the newspapers, that the rest was or any copy of them to be taken.” chiefly matter of form; that, therefore, as it Here this little ruffle ended : and while it would be inconvenient to the house to make was yet subsisting, the governor informed the up and perfect their votes daily, so as to send house, as a secret which he recommended to a copy to the governor, as they saw no public them to keep so, “ that governor Shirley, with service concerned in it, nor knew of any right the concurrence of his council and assembly, in the governor so peremptorily to demand it, having, among other measures, formed a dethey were not inclined to alter their ancient sign to build a fort near Crown Point, within custom; that his charge of taking extraordi- the limits of his majesty's territories, had sent nary or unconstitutianal measures to keep commissioners to this and other governments, their proceedings a secret from him, was void to solicit their contributions to the same unof any real foundation; that as to the con- dertaking; that the said governor had written struction put by the governor on their con- to him fully upon this head, that he should duct, they neither knew nor could guess what communicate his letter to them, that they it was; that whatever it was, they had rather might see what was expected from the proit had been spoken plainly, than insinuated, vince; that Mr. Quincy, his commissioner, because they might then have known how to was actually arrived, and had made his applijustify themselves; that, however, being con- cation to him; and that he heartily recomscious of firmest loyalty to the crown, and the mended it to them to grant the necessary supmost upright intentions to the people they re- plies for that important service.” presented, they were not very apprehensive Upon the heels of this, by another message of any great prejudice from such insinuations; he also informed them of, and congratulated the reflecting on the weight and importance them upon, the arrival of the transports, with of the matters laid before them in the morn- the forces and artillery destined for the Ameing message, which, moreover, so earnestly rican service in Virginia ; after which he pressed them to unanimity and despatch, they proceeded, as in the last session, to say, " that could not but be surprised at receiving mes- his majesty's care and affection for his subsages of so different a kind in the afternoon, jects in America having induced him to so and which could only tend to produce division large and seasonable an assistance, for the reand delay, &c. And that, therefore, they covery of those possessions which the French, humbly entreated the governor to suspend contrary to the faith of treaties, had seized, those his irritating accusations and novel de- they would be greatly wanting to themselves mands till a season of more leisure, and that if they neglected the opportunity to frustrate he would permit them to proceed, without any the attempts of that perfidious people; that to farther interruption, on the business for which render his majesty's measures effectual, it was he had been pleased to call them together." expected, that the colonies should raise an
Not to be diverted, however, from the pur- additional number of forces, and should furnish suit he was in by this caution, he sent a let- provisions and all necessaries to those employter to the printers for the assembly (one of ed for their protection; as they would see by whom was a member) forbidding them to pub- a letter from the earl of Halifax, and another lish the secretary of state's letters; and or- from general Braddock, which were to be laid dered his secretary to inspect the journals of before them; that this being so reasonable in the house from the 17th to the 20th of March itself, he could not doubt its being readily then current, both inclusive, and to take a complied with by all the provinces, in proporcopy thereof. Upon the former of which tion to their abilities; and he hoped, that as measures they resolved, that the said letters Pennsylvania was the most interested in the had been properly inserted ; that the house event, they would exert themselves as became had by sufficient reasons shown, that the ex- the representatives of a province actually inpunging those letters was both improper and vaded, and having their all depending on the unnecessary; that the right of directing success of the present enterprise; that he earnwhat should, or should not be inserted in the estly besought them to consider what might minutes of the house, was solely in the be the consequence of their refusing to grant house; and that the governor had not, nor the necessary supplies, as they might be ascould have, any right to interfere therein: sured his majesty would not condescend to
of the colonies must wait the supplies from present, in the measures now proposed for our
recommend to them in vain the making pro- may not lose this happy opportunity of re vision for their own defence, but would doubt- covering his majesty's dominions, now invaded less, upon their refusal, be enabled by his par- by the subjects of the French king, and preliament to oblige those who reaped the im- venting their unjust encroachments for the mediate benefit of such a chargeable protec- future. tion to contribute their proportion of it; and “ But if these repeated recommendations of that if by a disappointment in the articles ex- so reasonable a supply, shall fail of the desired pected to be supplied by them, the great ex- effect, and any ill consequences should atpense the nation had been put to for the se- tend it, his majesty and his ministers, a Bricurity of these invaluable branches of the tish parliament, your own constituents, and British empire, should be rendered unavail the neighbouring governments will be at no able, they could not but think they would loss on whom to lay the blame." justly draw upon themselves the resentment This message was also acc
accompanied with of his majesty, and a British parliament.” another, dated March 31, in which the go
How unusual soever such language was on vernor having referred to an account to be such occasions, and how inconsistent soever given them by his secretary, of several matwith the claims and rights of freemen, the as ters committed to the care of one Scarroyady, sembly not only stifled their resentments of an Indian chief, by the Ohio Indians, made it, but proceeded the very same day to do all use of it as an additional goad to the assembly, that was required of them with all the alacrity in the manner following: imaginable.
“ Gentlemen, Twenty-five thousand pounds was the sum “ So much depends on the disposition and they granted to the king's use: five thousand measures of the Indians at this time, that I pounds of it was appropriated for the sum bor- must earnestly recommend it to you to make rowed for the service at the last sitting; ten provision for the ensuing treaty, as well as to thousand pounds for the purchase of provisions, enable me to take proper notice of this chief, at the request of the government of Massa- who is so hearty in our interest, and of the chusetts-bay, for victualling their forces; five young men he has brought along with him, in thousand pounds, to answer the occasional order to be employed in some services, which, draughts of general Braddock; and the re- he says, are of importance to the general maining five thousand for the maintenance of cause. such Indians as had taken refuge in the pro “ It will readily occur to you, that the sevevince, and other contingent expenses in their ral western Indians, who wish well to the votes expressed: and the whole was to be English interest, wait with impatience for the raised by an emission of paper bills to the return of this chief, and will form their measame amount, and to be sunk by an extension sures according to the report which he shall of the excise for ten years.
make to them of our treatment of them : for If the other part of the former bill concern- which reason, it will be of the last conseing torn and ragged bills, was mentioned, or quence, that this chief, and these young men, at all insisted upon, it could not be carried ; go from us well clothed, and perfectly well the majority on this occasion resolving, that pleased." no provincial consideration of that kind should On the same day also, Mr. Quincy, comfurnish the least pretence for any obstruction missioner to the province from the governto the general service.
ment of Massachusetts-bay, presented a meUpon the 28th of March, 1755, this bill morial to the assembly, which containing an was left with the governor, and on the first of unquestionable testimonial in their favour, dethe next month he sent them the following serves to be inserted entire as follows, viz.
“ Gentlemen, “ Gentlemen,
“I am extremely sorry to find, that not“ Your bill for striking twenty-five thousand withstanding all the motives and arguments pounds, being contrary to his majesty's in- I was able to offer his honour the lieutenantstructions relating to paper-money, and of the governor, he did not see his way clear to give same nature with the bill I refused my assent his consent to the money-bill you have laid to the last sitting of the assembly, I cannot before him. pass it into a law, without a breach of duty to 6. The cheerfulness with which you therein the crown; and I am concerned you should granted ten thousand pounds, for victualling offer such a bill to me, when you had agreed the forces intended to march from New Eng. to submit the dispute between us, upon one of land to secure his majesty's territories, leaves the like kind, to his majesty.
me no room to doubt your zeal for his ma“ As this is a time of imminent danger, and jesty's service, or your hearty concurrence the forces raised and destined for the service with the government I have the honour to rethis province, I again entreat you to fall upon common safety; and therefore, though you some other method of raising money, that we are unhappily disappointed in the manner of
your grant, I flatter myself you will not fail | vince; they had overlooked whatever was of to find some other means of rendering it effec- fensive in the governor's messages and behatual.
viour to them, they had forborne all altercation “ The advantages which a speedy and vi- thereon; and Mr. Quincy, on behalf of the go gorous execution of those measures promises vernment he represented, presented them such to all the colonies, and the mischiefs which a a paper of acknowledgment, as abundantly veneglect of them will entail upon us and our rifies all that is here said of them, to wit : posterity, are clearly pointed out, and fully “SIR,—The sum which this honourable illustrated in the papers which have been the assembly has granted to his majesty's use, and subject of your late deliberations.
appropriated for victualling the troops intend"In rendering this important service to the ed to be marched for securing his majesty's crown, to the British nation, and to their fel territories, is an instance of your concern and low-subjects in the other governments, New zeal for the public safety, which I doubt not England offers to spend her treasure as freely will be highly acceptable to his majesty. And as her blood, and, were her abilities equal to her as it was made in consequence of my applicazeal, would as cheerfully bear the whole ex- tion to you, I beg leave to return you my pense, as she undertakes the whole hazard of grateful sense and acknowledgment; and to the enterprise. But the vast yearly charge assure you, in the name and behalf of the go she is subjected to, by her vicinity to the vernment I have the honour to represent, that French, and the necessity of defending so ex- it will be duly applied to the purposes for tensive a frontier from the incursions of those which it was granted.”. perfidious people, and their Indians, both in The governor, however, dissatisfied still, time of peace and war, has so exhausted her because disappointed and defeated, first evadfinances, and burdened her with such a load ed the assembly's demand of the restitution of of debt, that, without the assistance of the their bill according to custom, and then reneighbouring more wealthy colonies, she fused it, saying, “ That it was a bill of so exmust drop the design, however promising and traordinary a nature, that he thought it his glorious, as utterly impracticable.
duty to lay it before his majesty, and should Happy will your province be, gentlemen, keep it for that purpose." if you can still keep those dangerous people He also informed them by message of intelat a distance from your borders, by which you ligence he had received, that the French had will be free from the many mischiefs we have fitted out fifteen sail of the line, with which always suffered by their neighbourhood, they were sending out six thousand land
“The opportunity is now offered you, and, forces, and that the king's ministers were not if embraced, will, by the blessing of God, se- in the secret of their destination; yet as they cure your future peace and prosperity. But were bound for America, and could not be igwhatever you do, should be determined in- norant that Pennsylvania was both a plentistantly, for the season flies, and the delay may ful and defenceless country, he thought it his be as pernicious as a refusal.
duty to call upon them to enable him to put it “I have just received advice, that Connec- into a posture of defence, by establishing a ticut has voted fifteen hundred men, and that regular militia, and providing the necessary even the little government of Rhode Island has stores of war. granted four hundred, the expense of which This message was dated April 3d, and yet will be more than is asked of you. New York on the 8th following he advised them to make a seems heartily disposed to do her part; and short adjournment, because he was to receive there is reason to think that your good ex- the governors Shirley and De Lancey, that ample may have an advantageous influence on evening, and was to accompany them to Anyour neighbours of New Jersey.
napolis, there to confer with general Braddock, “ I need say no more to urge you to a speedy and the governors Sharpe of Maryland, and and effectual resolution, but conclude, with the Dinwiddie of Virginia ; after which, it was utmost respect, gentlemen, Yours, &c." probable, he should have several matters to
The rest of the day was spent in debates, lay before the assembly; but, as a parting as it was natural it should; but on the morrow stroke, he called upon them to make some prothey resolved to raise fifteen thousand pounds vision for Scarroyady, before mentioned, and on the credit of the province, in the manner his young men, which they did not without they had done before; that is to say, five thou- some wholesome hints, that they had been sand pounds to repay the sum so before bor- long enough already a charge to the province ; rowed for victualling the king's troops, and ten that there were proper lands where, and it thousand pounds to answer the request of the was a proper season when, they might both
Massachusetts government, so earnestly en- hunt, and plant their corn, by which they forced by Mr. Quincy.
might provide for themselves; and that as to the Thus, one would think, they had done all Indian treaty they had been required to make that could be reasonably required of men: they provision for, the governor could not expect had dropt the particular concern of the pro- they could come to any immediate resolution,