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had the king’s commands most strictly to enjoin him, the said governor, not to make ‘use of the armed force under his direction, excepting within the'undoubted limits of his majesty’s dominions : and that, whereas it might be greatly conducive to his majesty’s service,that all his provinces in America should be aiding and assisting each other in case of any invasion, he had it particularly in charge from his majesty to acquaint him, that it was his royal will and pleasure, that he should keep up an exact correspondence with all his governors on the continent; and that in case he should be informed by them of any hostile attempts, he was immediately to
assemble the general assembly, and lay before them the ne- "
cessity of mutual assistance, and engage them to grant such supplies, as the exigency of afi‘airs might require.”
The letter from the lords‘of trade, was dated September 18,‘ and imported, “That his majesty having been pleased to order a sum of money to be issued for presents to the Six Nations of Indians, and to direct his governor of New York to hold an interview with them, for delivering the same, for burying the hatchet, and for renewing the covenant chain, they thought it their duty to signify the same; and it having been usual upon the like occasions formerly, for all his majesty’s colonies, whose interest or security were connected with or depended upon them, to join in such interview; and.
that, as the present disposition of those Indians and the at
tempts made upon them to Withdraw them from the British interest, appear to them to make such a general interview more particularly necessary at that time, their desire was, that he, the governor, would lay this matter before the council and general assembly or the province under his government, and recommend to them forthwith, to make a proper provision ‘for appointing commissioners, to be joined with those of the other governments, for renewing the covenant chain, &c. and that the'said commissioners might be men of
character, ability, integrity, and wellyacquainted with Indian
affairs.” I ‘The letter of the French commandant was ‘in answer to the representations of governor Dinwiddie, concerning the
French incroachments on the Ohio, (for the European regulars mentioneclin Lord Holdernesse’s letters, were of that nation, though so much caution had been used to suppress the very name) and in very polite terms denied the whole charge.
In the governor’s written message accompanying these papers, something was said of each; and of the last rather more (whatever the matter of fact really was) than it seems to contain. The French commandant says, “ it belongs to his general at Canada, not to him, to demonstrate the reality of the king his master’s right to the lands situated along the Ohio: that he shall forward the letter he has received to him; that his answer would be a law to him; that as to the requisition made to him, to retire, he could not think himself obliged to submit to it; that he was there by his general’s orders, which he was determined to obey; that he did not know of any thing that had passed during the campaign, which could be esteemed an hostility; that if the ,governor had been more particular in his complaints, he had been more particular in his answer, Ste.”
The governor’s comment is in these words, ‘ An express has this week brought me governor Dinwiddie’s account of that gentleman’s [CoL Geo. Washington’s] return with the answer of the commander of the fort, who avows the hostilities already committed, and declares his orders from the king of France are, to build more forts, take possession of all the country, and oppose all who shall resist, English as well as Indians, and that he will certainly execute these orders as early as the season will permit.’
It is certain, at least, this language was never echoed at home :--and not a little extraordinary it is, to find this gen-tleman in his very ‘next paragraph, making so very free with the French name, which the secretary of state had been so extremely careful to avoid the mention of.
‘ Gentlemen (he proceeds to say) French forts and French armies so near us, will be everlasting goacls in our sides; our inhabitants from thence will feel all the miseries and dreadful calamities that have been heretofore sufl'ered ,by
our n'eighbour colonies; all those outrages, murders, rapines and cruelties, to which their people have been exposed, are now going to be experienced by ourselves,~unless a force be immediately raised suflicient ‘to repel these invaders. It is to
i be hoped therefore, that as loyal subjects to his majesty, and
in justice to your country, you will not fail to take into your consideration the present exigency of affairs; and, as it will be attended with a very considerable expence, and require a large number of men, make provision accordingly, that I may be enabled to do what his majesty, as well as the neigh~ bouring colonies,will expect from a government so populous, and likely to be so nearly affected with the neighbourhood of
In subsequent paragraphs, he farther informs the assembly, that the governors of Virginia, New York,and the Mas~ sachusetts, had made a tender of their assistance to the province, and expressed an earnest desire to act in concert with
'it; inforces the necessity of a general union ‘of all the pro"vinces, both in council and forces; recommends the appoint
ment of some trusty person to reside, in behalf of the pro
"vince, among the Indians upon the Ohio ; as also the preparation of a bill for better regulating the Indian trade; and
concludes with the following stimnlative, to wit.‘ ‘ Gentlemen, ,
‘There isso much to be done, and so little time to do it in, the season being so far advanced, and governor Dinwiddie. expecting the forces from this province to join those of Virginia, early in March, on Potowmack, that I most ear‘ nestly entreat you will not delay the supplies, nor deal them
'out‘with a sparing hand, but use all the expedition in your
power; for you will undoubtedly agree with me, that so "alarming an'occasion has not occurred since the first settlemént of the province, nor any one thing happened that so
vmuch deserves your serious attention.’
A treaty with the Ohio Indians, it is to be observed, had beerrjust concluded at the expence of the province, by three commissioners, two of them selectediout of the assembly by
v" the governor; and the necessity of regulating the Indian
trade had, in the course of the conferences, been made undeniably apparent, by the representations and complaints of the Indian chiefs.
And the reader will of himself be furnished with proper‘ reflections on the Earl of Holdernesse’s letters to the gover-.
nors of the several provinces, imposing the double care upon them, of defending themselves against the encroachments of
doing it improperly. To say nothing of the peculiar difiiculty laid both on the province and governor‘ of Pennsylvania, where there never had been any armed force on a provincial establishment at all.
The assembly took the whole into immediate consideras tion, and agreed upon the following answer, which was sent up to the governor the same day. To wit.
‘The distressed circumstances of the ‘Indians, our allies, on the river Ohio, demand our closest attention, and we shall not fail to proceed in the matters contained in the governor’s message with all the dispatch an affair of so much importance will admit of, in which we doubt not to comply with every thing that can be reasonably expected on our part.
‘In the mean time, having some days since prepared‘a bill, which we conceive absolutely necessary, not only to the trade and welfare of this province, but to the support of government, upon the success of which, our deliberations at this time must in a great measure depend; we now lay it before him as a bill of the utmost importance, and to which» we unanimously request he would be pleased to give his as‘ sent.
Four days the governor and his council employed in considering what return should be made to it; or, rather in searching out such an expedient as should force the province into the measures of the proprietaries, or else, by their re fusal embroil them with the government. In his very first
, paragraph he gave an absolute negative to their bill. He told
them, that the product of their present funds was greatly more than suflicient for the support of government; that he hoped to find them better subjects to his majesty, and greater
_ / the enemy, and also against all objections at home, in case of _ g
lovers to theiricountry, than to make the issue of their bill, in which he and they had an equal right to judge for them
selves, the rule of their conduct. ‘If, however, (continued.
be) you should be of opinion, that there will'be a necessity ‘to strike a farther sum in bills of credit, to defray the charges of raising supplies for his majesty’s service in this time of imminent danger, and will create a proper fund or funds for sinking the same in a few years, I will concur with you in passing a law for. that purpose, thinking myself sufliciently warranted so to do, in cases of real emergency.
‘And now, gentlemen, I hope you will, upon due consideration, be of opinion with me, that the chief end of your bill will be hereby, in a great measure answered, as the sum to be struck and circulated upon this occasion, will be such an addition to your. present currency, as probably may be thought sufliciently for some time.’ ,
The assembly also, in their turn, took a sufficient time for deliberation, and having touched on the unusual manner in which the governor had been pleased to reject their bill, and assumed some merit to themselves, in not suffering any separate interests of their own to interfere with the common good, observed, there was some difference between the royal orders and the governor’s manner of representing them ; chose therefore to adhere to the former; availed themselves most prudently and sensibly of the cautions so circumstantially recommended and inforced in them, more especially concerning the undoubted limits, and the restrictions thereupon, that his majesty may not be rendered the aggressor; said it would be highly presumptuous in them to judge of those undoubted limits ; that instead of being called upon to resist any hostile attempt made upon any part of Pennsylvania, they were called‘ upon to grant such a supply as might enable the governor to raise forces to be ‘ready to join those of Virginia; that therefore they hoped the governor, under these circumstances, would concur them, that the most prudent for them would be to. wait the result of the goyernment of Virginia, where no provision had as yet been
made that they knew of, nor.‘ in ‘any of the neighbouring co- , a