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which we presume will have its due weight with our governor, may be more certainly known to him than it appears to have hitherto been, we take the liberty of sending him the original confirmation. '
“ We have only to entreat the governor would be pleased to give this bill all the dispatch in his power, as our long sitting at this time is in every respect unseasonable, and the presence of many of our members is now absolutely necessary at their homes, for the better security of their harvests under their present calamitous circumstances.”
To understand what is here meant by the'words calamitous circumstances, it is necessary the reader should be informed, that Pennsylvania having been visited this year with a severe frost and drought, which had obliged the inhabitants in many places to mow their wheat, in order to supply the want of fodder for their cattle, no longer abounded in breadcorn, as it usually does; and very melancholy apprehensions began to be ‘entertained, that the miseries of scarcity would
Y be superadded to those of war.
From the 21st to the 25th, nevertheless, the governorbrooded over the two bills (viz. the ten thousand pounds bill for exchange, and the fifteen thousand pounds bill for the king’s use), and then sent down a message acknowleging, that many of the bills of credit were in a-bad condition; but requiring to be first satisfied, how much of the money for
’ merly struck for exchanging bills, and of which three thou
sand three hundred and two pounds six shillings and eight pence was at the last settlement remaining in the hands of the trustees, was still so remaining, before he passed that bill. He was answered the same day, that, according to the best computation that could be made, the sum was one thousand three hundred and two pounds six shillings and eight pence. Before that answer could reach his hands, his SBCI‘C-v tary was dispatched to the house with such amendments to the other, which was the ‘principal bill, as he was, unquestionably, preconvinced the assembly would never comply with. And that this is no uncharitable or unreasonable assertion, is manifestfrom the whole tenor of his conduct, which
was demonstrably such as would have better became a French
governor than an English one.
The assembly, however, bestowed a proper time of consideration on those amendments, and then acquainted him by message, that they adhered toytheir bill in all its parts; but accompanied this declaration'with a question, Whether he
would pass it into alaw as it then stood? to which he an
swered first, that he would take it into consideration; and finally gave it under his hand, that be adhered to his amendmcnts, without assigning any reasons, desiringla conference, or having recourse to any other expedient usual on the like
The ten thousand pounds bill for exchanging torn, and defaced money, met with a better fate: for after some concessions on both sides it was passed into a law; and this' was almost the only fruit of a session so unseasonably exacted, and introduced with such extraordinary demands.
They then acquainted the governor by message, that they proposed adjourn to the first of September then next ensuing; and the governor signified in reply, that he had no objection thereto.
Notwithstanding which he summoned them again to meet on the 23d of July; 'and they met accordingly, gave him notice thereof as usual, and required a copy of the writs by which they were summoned. His answer was ‘not returned till the next day, and then what he said was to this effect: that he should have laid the business he had for the consideration of the house before them the day preceding, had
not the shocking news he had received, prevented his getting ‘
it ready time enough; but that the house should hear from him that morning, and also have the copy of the writ'as desired. ’ ' This shocking news-was the strange, unprecedented, ignominious defeat of general Braddock; and what, if possible, is more shocking still, this incident, which, though so incon~ siderable to the whole, struck so much horror through every
part, had no other effect on him, than the miracles of Moses
had on the heart of Pharaoh.
‘If the exposed condition of the province had‘ before furnished him with topics for levies of money and troops, and
'for placing an unlimited confidence in him their governor,
and his first movers the proprietaries, he~now thought it would render his eloquence irresistible: and at all hazards resolved to make the most of it.
Fear, though most and enfeebler of any of the passions, has the strongest dominion over us;_and while we are scarce half of ourselves, it is not to be wondered, that we become the‘ property of any body else.
With a face, and a voice” and whatever else was suitable for the practice now to be tried, did the governor now meet the assembly; and having dispatched his text (the defeat of Braddock) in less than six lines, came at once to use and applicati'on in the terms following: ‘ This unfortunate and unexpected change in our affairs, will deeply affect every one of his majesty’s colonies, but none of them in so sensible a manner as this province, which, having no militia, is thereby left exposed to the cruel incursions of the French and their bar
ibarous Indians, who delight in shedding human blood, and
who make no distinction as to age or sex.....as to those that are armed against them, or such as they can surprize in their peaceful habitations.....all are alike the objects of their cruelty....slaughtering the tender infant and the frighted mother with equal joy and fierceness. To such enemies, spurred on by the native cruelty of their tempers,» encouraged by their late success, and having now no army to‘ fear, are the inhabitants of this province exposed.....and by such must we now expect to be oVer-run,_'if we do not immediately prepare for our own defence; nor ought we to content ourselves with this, but resolve to drive and confine the French vto their own just limits} I
Here the noble example of the eastern governments (New England) in forcing the enemy to keep a due distance from
‘their borders‘, was recommended and enforced; and then re
turning to his main point, he again expatiated thus: ‘Allow me therefore, gentlemen, to recommend to your most serious ponsideration the present ‘state and condition of your coun
try, the danger to which the lives and properties of all‘those
you have undertaken to represent, stand exposed at this critical and melancholy conjuncture; and to desire that you would not, by an ill-timed parsimony, by reviving‘any matters that have been in dispute, or from any other motive, suffer the people to remain any longer undefended, or the blood of the innocent to be shed by the cruel hands of savages. There are men enough in this province to protect it against any force the French can bring, and numbers of them are willing and desirous to defend their country upon the present occasion, but they have neither arm's, ammunition, nor dis- ' eipline, without which it will be impossible to repel an active enemy, whose trade is war. I therefore hope, that you will, without delay, grant such supplies as may enable me not only to secure thepeople of this province, but by reinforcing and assisting the king’s troops, enable them to remove the French from their present encroachments.
‘ If something very effectual be not done at this time for the safety and security of the province,the enemy, who know how to make the best use of a victory, will strengthen themselves in such la manner, that it will be next to impossible for us to remove them.’
In ‘effect, the assembly chose, for this once, to be’ blind to the artificial part of his speech, and‘ to discharge their own duty in such a manner, as should leaye him, even on his own premises, inexcusable for any failuréépn his side.
On the very next day they granted an aid to the crown of fifty thousand pounds; and th'pu‘tgh it is plain by this that they did not want a goad, on the next following, when they had the ways and means of raising this sum under considera' tion, the governor, by message, apprized them'3that colonel Dunbar, with the remainder of the king’s forces, had reached fort Cumberland; and that, as soon as his circumstances would admit, he intended to continue his march to Philadelphia; and that he had laid these matters before them, that they might fall upon measures, as soon as possible, for theiprotec‘tion of the western frontier. ‘
But this had not the desired‘efi'ect; ‘for the assembly in their reply most rationally suggested, that colonel Dunbar’s forces might be employed on this service ; and requested the governor to make use of his instances accordingly. This he could not refuse ; but the sequel may shew how little desirous he was of having the province defended by/those forces.
The next day, while the house was debating on the ways and means, among which one was known ,to be taxing the proprietary estate in proportion with others, a pompous mes~
' sage was sent down, containing an offer on the part of the proprietaries, of one thousand acres of land, west of the Allegheny mountains, withoutlpurchase-money, and for fifteen years clear of quit-rents, to every colonel who should serve on an expedition from that or the neighbouring provinces against the French on the Ohio; [seven hundred and fifty to each lieutenant-colonel and major; five hundred to each captain, four hundred to each lieutenant and ensign, and
' two hundred to every common soldie‘r; and reqiiiring the house to afford some assistance to such as should accept the same. s '
To make ‘up weight, a letter of intelligence from an Indian trader lately returned from Canada, whither he had fled to avoid being apprehended for killing a man, was sent along with this message; and, upon the heels of both, a remonstrance (not a petition) was-conjured up, from sundry inhabitants of the city and county of Philadelphia (emigrants from the famous borough of Totness it must be presumed) and presented to the assembly, containing a submissive ‘conceit, that one hundred thousand pounds, was as small a sum as would answer the present exigency; and signifyingthe willingness of the presenters to contribute their proportion of the same, or of a larger sum if necessary; not to insist on sundry petitions‘ from many of the inhabitants of three townships; and two more from sundry inhabitants of the county of Chester, who made it their prayer to be furnished with arms and ammunition for defence of their houses and