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time in the office, and therefore I proposed that the orders should be payable in a year, and to bear an interest of five per cent.: with these orders I supposed the provisions might easily be purchased. The assembly, with very little hesitation, adopted the proposal; the orders were immediately printed, and I was one of the committee directed to sign and dispose of them. The fund for paying them, was the interest of all the paper currency then extant in the province upon loan, to
who, when it was proposed to give him a government, requested it might be a government of blacks; as then, if he could not agree with his people, he might sell them. One of his friends, who sat next me, said, Franklin, why do you continue to side with those damned Quakers? had you not better sell them? the proprietor would give you a good price." "The governor," said I," has not yet blacked them enough."-He, indeed, had laboured hard to blacken the assembly in all his messages, but they wiped off his colour-gether with the revenue arising from the exing as fast as he laid it on, and placed it in return thick upon his own face; so, that finding he was likely to be negrofied himself, he, as well as Mr. Hamilton, grew tired of the contest, and quitted the government.
These public quarrels were all at bottom, owing to the proprietaries, our hereditary governors; who, when any expense was to be incurred for the defence of their province, with incredible meanness, instructed their deputies to pass no act for levying the necessary taxes, unless their vast estates were in the same act expressly exonerated; and they had even taken the bonds of these deputies to observe such instructions. The assemblies for three years held out against this injustice, though constrained to bend at last. At length captain Denny, who was governor Morris's successor, ventured to disobey those instructions; how that was brought about, I shall show hereafter.
But I am got forward too fast with my story: there are still some transactions to be mentioned, that happened during the administration of governor Morris.
War being in a manner commenced with France, the government of Massachusetts Bay projected an attack upon Crown Point, and sent Mr. Quincy to Pennsylvania, and Mr. Pownal, (afterwards governor Pownal,) to New York to solicit assistance. As I was in the assembly, knew its temper, and was Mr. Quincy's countryman, he applied to me for my influence and assistance: I dictated his address to them, which was well received. They voted an aid of ten thousand pounds, to be laid out in provisions. But the governor refusing his assent to their bill, (which included this with other sums granted for the use of the crown,) unless a clause were inserted, exempting the proprietary estate from bearing any part of the tax that would be necessary; the assembly, though very desirous of making their grant to New England effectual, were at a loss how to accomplish it. Mr. Quincy laboured hard with the governor to obtain his assent, but he was obstinate. I then suggested a method of doing the business without the governor, by orders on the trustees of the loan office, which by law the assembly had the right of drawing. There was, indeed, little or no money at the
cise, which being known to be more than sufficient, they obtained credit, and were not only taken in payment for the provisions; but many monied people who had cash lying by them, vested it in those orders, which they found advantageous, as they bore interest while upon hand, and might on any occasion be used as money; so that they were eagerly all bought up, and in a few weeks none of them were to be seen. Thus this important affair was by my means completed. Mr. Quincy returned thanks to the assembly in a handsome memorial, went home highly pleased with the success of his embassy, and ever after bore for me the most cordial and affectionate friendship.
The British government, not choosing to permit the union of the colonies, as proposed at Albany, and to trust that union with their defence, lest they should thereby grow too military, and feel their own strength, (suspicion and jealousies at this time being entertained of them,) sent over general Braddock with two regiments of regular English troops for that purpose. He landed at Alexandria, in Virginia, and thence marched to Frederick-town, in Maryland, where he halted for carriages. Our assembly, apprehending from some information, that he had received violent prejudices against them as averse to the service, wished me to wait upon him, not as from them, but as post-master-general, under the guise of proposing to settle with him the mode of conducting with most celerity and certainty, the dispatches between him and the governors of the several provinces, with whom he must necessarily have continual correspondence; and of which they proposed to pay the expense. My son accompanied me on this journey. We found the general at Frederick-town, waiting impatiently for the return of those whom we had sent through the back parts of Maryland and Virginia to collect wagons. I staid with him several days, dined with him daily, and had full opportunities of removing his prejudices, by the information of what the assembly had before his arrival actually done, and were still willing to do, to facilitate his operations. When I was about to depart, the returns of wagons to be obtained were brought in, by which it appeared, that they amounted
days' pay is to be advanced and paid in hand
time to time as it shall be demanded. 5. No
only to twenty-five, and not all of those were in serviceable condition. The general and all the officers were surprised, declared the expedition was then at an end, being impossible; and exclaimed against the ministers for ignorantly sending them into a country desti-army, at the time of their discharge; or from tute of the means of conveying their stores, baggage, &c. not less than one hundred and fifty wagons being necessary. I happened to say, I thought it was a pity they had not been landed in Pennsylvania, as in that country almost every farmer had his wagon. The general eagerly laid hold of my words, and said, "Then you, sir, who are a man of interest there, can probably procure them for us; and I beg you will undertake it." I asked what terms were to be offered the owners of the wagons; and I was desired to put on paper the terms that appeared to me necessary. This I did, and they were agreed to; and a commission and instructions accordingly prepared immediately. What those terms were, will appear in the advertisement I published soon as I arrived at Lancaster; which being, from the great and sudden effect it "To the inhabitants of the counties of Lanproduced, a piece of some curiosity, I shall insert it at length, as follows:
caster, York, and Cumberland.
"It was proposed to send an armed force immediately into these counties, to seize as many of the best carriages and horses as should be wanted, and compel as many persons into the service, as would be necessary to drive and take care of them.
"FRIENDS AND COUNTRYMEN,-Being occasionally at the camp at Frederick, a few days since, I found the general and officers “Lancaster, April 26th, 1753. extremely exasperated on account of their not "Whereas, one hundred and fifty wagons, being supplied with horses and carriages, with four horses to each wagon, and fifteen which had been expected from this province, hundred saddle or pack-horses are wanted for as most able to furnish them; but through the the service of his majesty's forces, now about dissensions between our governor and assemto rendezvous at Wills's creek; and his ex-bly, money had not been provided, nor any cellency, general Braddock, having been steps taken for that purpose. pleased to empower me to contract for the hire of the same; I hereby give notice, that I shall attend for that purpose at Lancaster from this day to next Wednesday evening; and at York from next Thursday morning, till Friday evening; where I shall be ready to agree for wagons and teams, or single horses, on the following terms, viz:-1. That there shall be paid for each wagon with four good horses and a driver, fifteen shillings per diem. And for each able horse with a packsaddle, or other saddle and furniture, two shillings per diem. And for each able horse without a saddle, eighteen pence per diem. 2. That the pay commence from the time of their joining the forces at Wills's creek, (which must be on or before the 20th of May ensuing,) and that a reasonable allowance be paid over and above for the time necessary for their travelling to Wills's creek and home again after their discharge. 3. Each wagon and team, and every saddle or pack-horse, is to be valued by indifferent persons, chosen between me and the owner; and in case of the loss of any wagon, team, or other horse in the service, the price according to such valuation is to be allowed and paid. 4. Seven
"I apprehend, that the progress of British soldiers through these counties on such an occasion, (especially considering the temper they are in, and their resentment against us,) would be attended with many and great inconveniences to the inhabitants, and therefore more willingly took the trouble of trying first what might be done by fair and equitable means. The people of these back counties have lately complained to the assembly that a sufficient currency was wanting; you have an opportunity of receiving and dividing among you a very considerable sum; for if the service of this expedition should continue (as it is more than probable it will) for 120 days, the hire of these wagons and horses will amount to upwards of thirty thousand pounds; which will be paid you in silver and gold of the king's money.
"The service will be light and easy, for the army will scarce march above twelve
miles per day, and the wagons and baggagehorses, as they carry those things that are absolutely necessary to the welfare of the army, must march with the army, and no faster; and are, for the army's sake, always placed where they can be most secure, whether in a march or in a camp.
If you are really, as I believe you are, good and loyal subjects to his majesty, you may now do a most acceptable service, and make it easy to yourselves; for three or four of such as cannot separately spare from the business of their plantations, a wagon and four horses and a driver, may do it together; one furnishing the wagon, another one or two horses, and another the driver, and divide the pay proportionably between you: but if you do not this service to your king and country voluntarily, when such good pay and reasonable terms are offered to you, your loyalty will be strongly suspected: the king's business must be done so many brave troops, come so far for your defence, must not stand idle through your backwardness to do what may be reasonably expected from you: wagons and horses must be had, violent measures will probably be used; and you will be to seek for recompence where you can find it, and your case perhaps be little pitied or regarded.
I have no particular interest in this affair, as (except the satisfaction of endeavouring to do good) I shall have only my labour for my pains. If this method of obtaining the wagons and horses is not likely to succeed, I am obliged to send word to the general in fourteen days; and I suppose, sir John St. Clair, the hussar, with a body of soldiers will immediately enter the province for the purpose; which I shall be sorry to hear, because I am very sincerely and truly, your friend and well-wisher,
I received of the general about eight hundred pounds, to be disbursed in advance money to the wagon owners, &c.; but that sum being insufficient, I advanced upwards of two hundred pounds more; and in two weeks, the one hundred and fifty wagons, with two hundred and fifty-nine carrying horses, were on their march for the camp. The advertisement promised payment according to the valuation, in case any wagons or horses should be lost. The owners, however, alleging they did not know general Braddock, or what dependence might be had on his promise, insisted on my bond for the performance; which I accordingly gave them.
While I was at the camp, supping one evening with the officers of colonel Dunbar's regiment, he represented to me his concern for the subalterns, who, he said, were generally not in affluence, and could ill afford in this dear country, to lay in the stores that might be necessary in so long a march
through a wilderness, where nothing was to be purchased. I commiserated their case, and resolved to endeavour procuring them some relief. I said nothing however to him of my intention, but wrote the next morning to the committee of assembly, who had the disposition of some public money, warmly recommending the case of these officers to their consideration, and proposing that a present should be sent them of necessaries and refreshments. My son, who had some experience of a camp life, and of its wants, drew up a list for me, which I inclosed in my letter. The committee approved, and used such diligence, that, conducted by my son, the stores arrived at the camp as soon as the wagons. They consisted of twenty parcels, each containing
6 lb. Loaf Sugar
6 do. Muscovado do. 1 do. Green Tea
1 do. Bohea do.
6 do. Ground Coffee
chest best white Biscuit
I quart white Vinegar
1 keg containing 20 lb. good Butter
2 doz. old Madeira Wine 2 gallons Jamaica Spirits 1 bottle Flour of Mustard 2 well-cured Hams
dozen dried Tongues 6 lb. Rice
6 lb. Raisins.
These parcels, well packed, were placed on as many horses, each parcel, with the horse, being intended as a present for one officer. They were very thankfully received, and the kindness acknowledged by letters to me from the colonels of both regiments, in the most grateful terms. The general too was highly satisfied with my conduct in procuring him the wagons, &c. &c., and readily paid my account of disbursements; thanking me repeatedly, and requesting my further assistance in sending provisions after him. I undertook this also, and was busily employed in it till we heard of his defeat; advancing for the service, of my own money, upwards of one thousand pounds sterling; of which I sent him an account. It came to his hands, luckily for me, a few days before the battle, and he returned me immediately an order on the paymaster for the round sum of one thousand pounds, leaving the remainder to the next account. I consider this payment as good luck; having never been able to obtain that remainder; of which more hereafter.
This general was, I think, a brave man, and might probably have made a figure as a good officer in some European war; but he had too much self-confidence, too high an opinion of
the validity of regular troops, and too mean | flank: the officers being on horseback, were an one of both Americans and Indians. more easily distinguished, picked out as George Croghan, our Indian interpreter, join-marks, and fell very fast; and the soldiers ed him on his march with one hundred of were crowded together in a huddle, having those people, who might have been of great or hearing no orders, and standing to be shot use to his army as guides, scouts, &c., if he at till two thirds of them were killed; and had treated them kindly: but he slighted and then being seized with a panic the remainder neglected them, and they gradually left him. fled with precipitation. The wagoners took In conversation with him one day, he was each a horse out of his team and scampered; giving me some account of his intended pro- their example was immediately followed by gress. "After taking fort Duquesne," said others; so that all the wagons, provisions, he, "I am to proceed to Niagara; and having artillery, and stores were left to the enemy. taken that, to Frontenac, if the season will The general being wounded was brought off allow time, and I suppose it will; for Du- with difficulty; his secretary, Mr. Shirley, quesne can hardly detain me above three or was killed by his side, and out of eighty-six four days; and then I see nothing that can officers sixty-three were killed or wounded; obstruct my march to Niagara." Having be- and seven hundred and fourteen men killed fore revolved in my mind the long line his of eleven hundred. These eleven hundred army must make in their march by a very had been picked men from the whole army; narrow road, to be cut for them through the the rest had been left behind with colonel woods and bushes; and also what I had read | Dunbar, who was to follow with the heavier of a former defeat of fifteen hundred French, part of the stores, provisions, and baggage. who invaded the Illinois country, I had con- The flyers not being pursued arrived at Dunceived some doubts and some fears for the bar's camp, and the panic they brought with event of the campaign. But I ventured only them instantly seized him and all his people. to say, "to be sure, sir, if you arrive well be- And though he had now above one thousand fore Duquesne, with the fine troops, so well men, and the enemy who had beaten Bradprovided with artillery, the fort, though com- dock, did not at most exceed four hundred pletely fortified, and assisted with a very Indians and French together, instead of prostrong garrison, can probably make but a short ceeding and endeavouring to recover some resistance. The only danger I apprehend of of the lost honour, he ordered all the stores, obstruction to your march, is from the am- ammunition, &c., to be destroyed, that he buscades of the Indians, who by constant might have more horses to assist his flight practice, are dextrous in laying and execut- towards the settlements, and less lumber to ing them and the slender line, near four remove. He was there met with requests miles long, which your army must make, may from the governor of Virginia, Maryland, and expose it to be attacked by surprise in its Pennsylvania, that he would post his troops flanks, and to be cut like a thread into several on the frontiers, so as to afford some protecpieces, which from their distance cannot come tion to the inhabitants; but he continued his up in time to support each other." He smiled hasty march through all the country, not at my ignorance, and replied, "These sa-thinking himself safe till he arrived at Philavages may indeed be a formidable enemy to your raw American militia; but upon the king's regular and disciplined troops, sir, it is impossible they should make any impression." I was conscious of an impropriety in my disputing with a military man in matters of his In their first march too, from their landing profession, and said no more. The enemy, till they got beyond the settlements, they had however, did not take the advantage of his plundered and stripped the inhabitants, totally army which I apprehend its long line of march ruining some poor families, besides insulting, exposed it to, but let it advance without in-abusing, and confining the people if they reterruption till within nine miles of the place; monstrated. This was enough to put us out and then when more in a body, (for it had of conceit of such defenders, if we had really just passed a river, where the front had halt-wanted any. How different was the conduct ed till all were come over) and in a more of our French friends in 1781, who during a open part of the woods than any it had passed, march through the most inhabited part of our attacked its advanced guard by a heavy fire country, from Rhode Island to Virginia, near from behind trees and bushes; which was the seven hundred miles, occasioned not the first intelligence the general had of an smallest complaint, for the loss of a pig, a enemy's being near him. This guard being chicken, or even an apple! disordered, the general hurried the troops up to their assistance, which was done in great confusion, through wagons, baggage, and cattle; and presently the fire came upon their VOL. I.... H
delphia, where the inhabitants could protect him. This whole transaction gave us Americans the first suspicion that our exalted ideas of the prowess of British regular troops had not been well founded.
Captain Orme, who was one of the general'saids-de-camp and being grievously wounded, was brought off with him, and continued with him to his death, which happened in a
few days, told me he was totally silent all the first day, and at night only said," Who would have thought it?" That he was silent again the following day, saying only at last, "We shall better know how to deal with them another time;" and died in a few minutes after.
The secretary's papers, with all the general's orders, instructions, and correspondence falling into the enemy's hands, they selected and translated into French a number of the articles, which they printed to prove the hostile intentions of the British court before the declaration of war. Among these I saw some letters of the general to the ministry, speaking highly of the great service I had rendered the army, and recommending me to their notice. David Hume, who was some years after secretary to lord Hertford, when minister in France, and afterwards to general Conway, when secretary of state, told me he had seen among the papers in that office, letters from Braddock, highly recommending me. But the expedition having been unfortunate, my service, it seems, was not thought of much value, for those recommendations were never of any use to me. As to rewards from himself, I asked only one, which was, that he would give orders to his officers, not to enlist any more of our bought servants, and that he would discharge such as had been already enlisted. This he readily granted, and several were accordingly returned to their masters, on my application. Dunbar, when the command devolved on him, was not so generous. He being at Philadelphia, on his retreat, or rather flight, I applied to him for the discharge of the servants of three poor farmers of Lancaster county, that he had enlisted, reminding him of the late general's orders on that head. He promised me that if the masters would come to him at Trenton, where he should be in a few days on his march to New York, he would there deliver their men to them. They accordingly were at the expense and trouble of going to Trenton, and there he refused to perform his promise, to their great loss and disappointment.
As soon as the loss of the wagons and horses was generally known, all the owners came upon me for the valuation which I had given bond to pay. Their demands gave me a great deal of trouble: I acquainted them that the money was ready in the paymaster's hands, but the order for paying it must first be obtained from general Shirley, and that I had applied for it; but he being at a distance, an answer could not soon be received, and they must have patience. All this however was not sufficient to satisfy, and some began to sue me: general Shirley, at length relieved me from this terrible situation, by appointing commissioners to examine the claims, and ordering payment. They amounted to near
twenty thousand pounds, which to pay would have ruined me.
Before we had the news of this defeat, the two doctors Bond came to me with a subscription paper for raising money to defray the expense of a grand fire-work, which it was intended to exhibit at a rejoicing on receiving the news of our taking fort Duquesne. looked grave, and said, "It would, I thought, be time enough to prepare the rejoicing when we knew we should have occasion to rejoice." They seemed surprised that I did not immediately comply with their proposal. "Why the d-1," said one of them, "you surely don't suppose that the fort will not be taken?" "I don't know that it will not be taken; but I know that the events of war are subject to great uncertainty." I gave them the reasons of my doubting: the subscription was dropped, and the projectors thereby missed the mortification they would have undergone if the firework had been prepared. Dr. Bond, on some other occasion afterwards, said that he did not like Franklin's forebodings.
Governor Morris, who had continually worried the assembly with message after message before the defeat of Braddock, to beat them into the making of acts to raise money for the defence of the province, without taxing among others the proprietary estates, and had rejected all their bills for not having such an exempting clause, now redoubled his attacks with more hope of success, the danger and necessity being greater. The assembly however continued firm, believing they had justice on their side; and that it would be giving up an essential right, if they suffered the governor to amend their money bills. In one of the last, indeed, which was for granting fifty thousand pounds, his proposed amendment was only of a single word: the bill expressed, "that all estates real and personal were to be taxed; those of the proprietaries not excepted." His amendment was; for not read only. A small, but very material alteration! However, when the news of the disaster reached England, our friends there, whom we had taken care to furnish with all the assembly's answers to the governor's messages, raised a clamour against the proprietaries for their meanness and injustice in giving their governor such instructions; some going so far as to say, that by obstructing the defence of their province, they forfeited their right to it. They were intimidated by this, sent orders to their receivergeneral to add five thousand pounds of their money to whatever sum might be given by the assembly for such purpose. This being. testified to the house, was accepted in lieu of their share of a general tax, and a new bill was formed with an exempting clause, which passed accordingly. By this act I was ap pointed one of the commissioners for disposing