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imposition on the public, the said commissioners ought forth‘
with to attend theisaid committee with their accounts fairly stated, with proper vouchers for the same.” From all which premises, the house had surely reason to ask as they did, “whether they had not good reason to be surprised at this, and to suspect some extravagance in the management?” But they went farther still ; they cited the original letter from the governor's six commissioners to him, and by him communi— _cated to the house, August 9th, in which the 7 five thousand pounds is specified, together with an intimation, that the people being much in want of money, the money could not be sent too soon. And they conclude this section with the fol~ lowing shrewd remark: ‘The governor’s judgment of our motives to engage in this work of opening the roads, seems to us a very uncharitable one, but we hope to find more equitable judgment elsewhere; We are obliged to him, however, for owning that we did engage in'it at all; For as he is \pleased to lay it down as a maxim that we are very wicked people; he has shewn in other instances, when we have done any good, that he thinks it no more injustice to us to deny the facts, than now to deny the goodness of our motives. He would, however, think himself ill used, if any partof his zeal in that affair was ascribed to the 'menaces directed to him; or ‘to a view of accommodating by the new road the lands .of the proprietaries’ new purchase, and by that means increasing the value of their estate at our expence.’ Again: the governor was pleased to express himself in these extraordinary terms—J You have often mentioned what you have done to promote the success of his majesty’& arms under general Braddock, and for the defence of the province, ‘and say, you have letters from the late general, vthanking you for your service; the truth of this I must beg leave to question, as the late general was too honest to say one, thing to you, and ‘another to the king’s ministers. - He might acknowledge the services of particular men, but how you can take those to yourselves as an assembly, when you had no hand in what was done, I am at a loss to know. I think will not be doubted, but that had you in time opened
the proper roads, raised men, and provided carriages and necessary provisions for the troops, as this was the only province able‘ in the general’s situation, to furnish him with them, we might now have been in peaceable possession of fort Duquesne.
To which astonishing, because groundless charge, the as~ sembly, in the following full and efi‘ectual manner, replied: ‘ We own that we have often mentioned this; but we have been forced to it by the governor’s asserting, as often, in his messages, contrary to known fact, that we had done nothing, and would do nothing of that kind. "But it seems we take to ourselves the services of particular men, in which the go.vernor says, we had no hand; and adds, “That had we in time opened the proper roads, raised men, and provided car
‘riages, and necessary provisions for the troops, we might now have been in peaceable possession of fort Duquesne.” We beg leave to ask the governor, has the body no share in what is done by its members? has the house no hand in what is done by its committees? has it no hand in what is done by virtue of its own resolves and orders? did we not, many weeks before the troops arrived, vote five thousand ‘pounds for purchasing fresh victuals, and other necessaries for their use? did we not even borrow money on our own credit to purchase those provisions when the governor had rejected our bill? will the governor deny this, when be himself once charged it upon us as a crime? were not the provisions actually purchased by our committee, the \full quantity required by the commissary, and carried by land to Virginia at our expence, even before they were wanted? did the army ever want provisions, till they had abandoned or destroyed them? are there not even now some scores of tons of it lying at fort Cumberland and Conegochieg? did the governor ever mention the opening of roads to us before the 18th of March, though the requisition was made to him by the quarter-gnaster-general in January? did we not in'a few days after send him up a bill to provide for the expence, which he refused? did not the governor proceed nevertheless to appoint commissioners, ‘and engage labourers for opening H h
the road, whom we afterwards agreed to pay out of the money we happened to have in our power? did the work ever stop a moment through any default of ours? was the road ever intended for the march of the troops to the Ohio? was it not merely to open a communication with this province, for the more convenient supplying them ‘with provisions
when they should be arrived there? did they wait in the least
for this road? had they not as many men as they wanted, and many from this province? were they not more numerous than the enemy they went to oppose, even after the general had left near half his army fifty miles behind him?
I were not all the carriages they demanded, being one hundred
and fifty, engaged, equipt, and sent forward in a few days after the demand, and all at Wills’s creek many days before the army was ready'tomarch? with what face then of pro
. bability can the governor undertake to say, “That had we
in time opened the proper roads, raised men, and provided
carriages, and necessary provisions for the troops, we might .
now have been in peaceable possession of fort Duquesne?” ‘The governor is pleased to doubt our having stich letters as we mentioned; we are therefore, in our own vindication, under a necessity of quoting to him some parts of them; and will shew him the originals whenever he shall please to require it. The general’s secretary, in his letter of the tenth of May to one of our members (who, in pursuanceof a resolve of the house for the service of the army, waited on the general at Frederic, and there occasionally undertook the furnishing of waggons, which he performed with the assistance of some other members of the committee, and for that, and other services to the troops, received the thanks of the house at his return) says, “You have done us great service in the (EXBCUtiOII of the business you have kindly undertaken; and indeed without it, 1 don’t see how the service could have been carried on,‘ as the expectations from Maryland have
come to nothing.” 'And again, in his letter of May the form '
teenth, “The general orders me to acquaint you that he is greatly obliged to you, for the great care and readiness with which you have executed the business you undertook for
him’. At your request he will with pleasure discharge the servants that may have inlisted in the forces under his command, or any others for whom you may desire a discharge; and desires‘ that you would, for that purpose, send him their names.” And Iagain, in his letter of May the twentieth, “ I have only time to thank you once more, in the name of the general and every body concerned, for the service you have done, which has been conducted throughout with the greatest prudence and most generous spirit for the public ser
vice.” The general’s own letter, dated the twenty-ninth of i
L May, mentions and acknowleges the provisions given by the
Pennsylvania assembly” [though the governor will allow us a
to have had “no hand” in it], and says, “ Your regard for
his majesty’s service, and assistance to the present expedi- I
tion, deserve my sincerest thanks,” Ste. Colonel Dunbar writes, in his letter of May the thirteenth, concerning the present of refreshments, and carriage horses sent up for the subalterns, “I am desired by all the gentlemen, whom the committee have been so good as to think of in so genteel a manner, to return them their hearty thanks.” And again, on the twenty-first of May, “ Your kind present is now all ar
rived, and shall be‘ equally divided to-morrow between sir
Peter Halket’s s‘ubalterns and mine, which I apprehend will be agreeable to the committee’s intent. This I have made
‘known to the otlicers of both regiments, who unanimously
desire meto return their generous ‘benefactors their most hearty thanks, to which be pleased to add mine,” Src. And. sir Peter Halket, in his of the twenty-third of May, says, “The oflicers of my regiment are most sensible of the fa
vors conferred on the subalterns by your assembly, who have _
made them so well-timed, and so handsome a present. At their request‘and desire I return their thanks, and to the acknowlegments of the oilicers, beg leave to add mine, which
you, I hope, will do me the favor for the_~_whole to offer to I
the assembly, and to assure them, that we ‘shall on every oc-= casion do them the justice due for so seasonable and welljudged an act of generosity.” There are more of the same kind, but these may suflice to shew that we had “ some hand
in what was done,” and that we did not, as the governor supposes, dev’iate from the truth, when, in our just and necessary vindication against his groundless, cruel, and repeated charge, “ that we had refused the proper, necessary, and timely assistance to an army sent to protect the colonies,” we alleged, “ that we had supplied that army plentifully with all they asked of us, and more than all, and had letters from the late general, and other principal oflicers, acknowleging our care, and thanking us cordially for our services.” If the general ever wrote differently of us to the king’s ministers, it must have beenwhile he was under the first impressions given him by the governor to our disadvantage, and before he knew us; and we think with the governor, that if he had lived, he was too honest a man not to have retracted those mistaken accounts of us, and done us ample justice.’
What is still more unlucky for the governor, his secretary writing to the said commissioners with all the authority he could depute to him, April 25, 1755, makes use of these very words, ‘ What sir John St. Clair says is so far true, that had the army been ready now, and retarded by delays in matters
undertaken by this province, all the mischiefs thence arising '
would have been justly chargeable on ‘this province; but I am much mistaken, if they can, within a month from this date, get their artillery so far as your road.’
In the same letter he also says, ‘Surely the flour will be delivered in time; or greatblame may be laid with truth at the door of the commissioners.’ Not the province; and, indeed, the flour was actually delivered so soon and so fast, that the general had not even provided storehouses and she]ters ‘suflicient to secure it against the weather, to which great quantities, of it'lay exposed in Maryland after the delivery of it there. _
What spirit this gentleman (the, governor) was possessed with, had been a question. The assembly would not allow him to have the spirit of government; he himself maintain-t ed, that if he had had enough of the spirit of shbmission, (terms generally held irreconcileable) his government would