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administered or executed, but often wrested from their true sense to serve particular purposes; the foundation of justice may be liable to be destroyed; and the lives, laws, liberties, privileges, and properties of the people thereby rendered precarious and altogether insecure ; to the great disgrace of our laws, and the inconceivable injury of his Majesty's subjects.
Your committee further beg leave to add, that, besides these aggrievances, there are other hardships the people of this province have experienced, that call for redress. The enlistment of servants without the least satisfaction being made to the masters, has not only prevented the cultivation of our lands, and diminished the trade and commerce of the province; but is a burthen extremely unequal and oppressive to individuals. And, should the practice continue, the consequence must prove very discouraging to the further settlement of this colony, and prejudicial to his Majesty's future service. Justice, therefore, demands that satisfaction should be made to the masters of such enlisted servants, and that the right of masters to their servants be confirmed and settled. But, as those servants have been enlisted into his Majesty's service for the general defence of America, and not of this province only, but all the colonies, and the nation in general, have and will receive equal benefit from their service, this satisfaction should be made at the expense of the nation, and not of the province only.
That the people now labor under a burthen of taxes almost insupportable by so young a colony, for the defence of its long-extended frontier, of about two hundred miles from New Jersey to Maryland; without either of those colonies, or the three lower counties on Delaware, contributing their proportion thereto; though their frontiers are in a great measure covered
and protected by our forts. And, should the war continue, and with it this unequal burthen, many of his Majesty's subjects in this province will be reduced to want; and the province, if not lost to the enemy, involved in debt and sunk under its load.
That, notwithstanding this weight of taxes, the Assemblies of this province have given to the general service of the nation five thousand pounds to purchase provisions for the troops under General Braddock; £2,985. Os. 11d. for clearing a road by his orders; £10,514. 10s. ld. to General Shirley, for the purchasing provisions for the New England forces; and expended the sum of £2,385 0s. 24d. in supporting the inhabitants of Nova Scotia; which likewise we conceive ought to be a national expense.
And that his Majesty's subjects, the merchants and insurers in England, as well as the merchants here and elsewhere, did during the last, and will during the present war, greatly suffer in their property, trade, and commerce, by the enemy's privateers on this coast, and at our capes, unless some method be fallen on to prevent it.
Wherefore your committee are of opinion, that the commissioners, intended to be sent to England to solicit a memorial and redress of the many infractions and violations of the constitution, should also have it in charge, and be instructed, to represent to our most gracious Sovereign and his Parliaments the several unequal burthens and hardships before mentioned; and endeavour to procure satisfaction to the masters of such servants as have been enlisted, and the right of masters to their servants established and confirmed; and obtain a repayment of the said several sums of money, some assistance towards defending our extensive frontier, and a vessel of war to protect the trade and commerce of this province.
Submitted to the correction of the House.
SO FAR AS REGARDS THE SEVERAL POINTS OF CONTROVERSY,
BETWEEN THE SEVERAL GOVERNORS OF PENNSYLVANIA AND
FOUNDED ON AUTHENTIC DOCUMENTS.
Those, who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
First Published in London, 1759.
The controversies, which existed for many years between the Proprietary Governors and the Assemblies of Pennsylvania, are not without interest as an important branch of the general history of the country, and as showing the determined spirit of the people in their struggles for liberty. The following treatise relates to that subject. As a member of the Assembly for several years, and one of the leaders, Franklin had taken a conspicuous part against the Proprietaries; and, when it was at last resolved by the popular party to apply to the King in Council for a redress of their grievances, appointed their agent to manage the affair. He went to England for that purpose in the summer of 1757. To aid the object of his mission, to counteract the powerful efforts made against