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that the proprietary was, by the bill, to contribute in proportion to his estate, and to avoid unseasonable disputes; but since we are daily more and more convinced that'the governor is no friend to our country, and takes a pleasure in contriving' all possible methods’ of expence, to exhaust our funds, and distress our afi'airs (of which the present exorbitant demand of five thousand pounds, besides uLhat we have already paid, for cuttings road, an undertaking he engaged us in ‘on a computation of its costing eight hundred pounds, and which if this be due must cost 'us about an hundred pounds per mile) it will become us to be more particularly careful how our public money shall be expended, when the greatest sums which can be raised upon this young colony must fall so far short of what may-become absolutely‘ necessary for our common security.

That we claim a right of keeping‘ our proceedings a secret from the~ crown, another of the governor’s groundless accusations, has been twice refuted, and is yet a third time courageously repeated; though all the province knows that our votes and proceedings are every year printed and published, and have been so for these thirty years past and more: Equally groundless are the [many others] which the governor forhears to particularize. Could he have thought of one that had the least apparent foundation, he would not have spared to mention it.

Plans and schemes of aggrandizing ourselves thegovernor has often charged us with, and now repeats the charge. He affects to consider us as a permanent body, or some particular order of~people in the state, capable of planning and scheming for their own particular advantage, distinct from that of the province in general. How groundless this must be, is easily conceived, when it is considered, that we are picked out from amongvtbe people by their sufi'rages, to represent them for one year only; which ended, we return again among the people, and others may be, and often are chosen in our places. Np one of us knows a day before the election that he shall be chosen, and we neither bribe nor solicit the voters, but every one votes as he pleases, and as privately as he pleases, the election being by written tickets folded up and put into a box. What interest can such a body have, separate from that of the public? W'hat schemes can a set of men, continually changing, have, or what plans can they form to aggrandize themselves, or to what purpose should they have or form them 2 lfthe little power allowed us by the constitution was fixed in our particular families, and to descend to our heirs, as the proprietary power does in their family, we might then be suspected of these aggrandizing plans and schemes, with more appearance of probability. But if any of us had such schemes, the want of a single vote in any election might totally disconcert them, there being no tenure more precarious than ‘that by popular esteem or favor.

' The governor next considers what we have said relating to the act for raising county rates and levies, and is pleased to say, that ‘he does not see why the proprietary estate in each county is not benefitted in common with other estates, and by the same means." That the proprietaries estate

should be excused‘ in a county rate, at least so far as that rate is levied for the payment of assemblymen’s wages, appears to us equitable; for it would. seem unreasonable to tax an estate to defray their expences, ifthe pos es, sor had no vote in choosing a representative in that house. But we eoncezte it is widely different in a provincial tax, where the common interest and sew curity of all are concerned; and yet if the proprietaries should purchase estates which have usually been taxed by the county rate and levy act for that purpose, we presume those estates ought to continue to pay their :15scssrnents. It was the opinion of~the solicitor general in king VVillinln's time, that the lords had no right to vote in the elections of a commoner, ‘ because they were not contributors to the expences of a knight of the shire or burgess; and they were not contributors to that expenee, because they were of another house. But if theyipurchasod lands which were, before such purchase, chargeable with those expenses, those lands should, notwithstanding that purchase, continue clmr'geable therewith bylaw; although before the act, the lands the lords were seised of, or purchased, were excused from that charge. But though such lands were excused from these rates, will any one from thence allege, that the lords are exempted from paying the national taxes? as {or the rest of the expences provided for by that act, we thought, as the proprietary cultivated no lands in any of the counties, but let them lie for a market, ‘he had probably on sheep that’ might suffer by wolves, poultry by .foaes, or corn by crows and blackbirds, &c. and therefore might reasonably be excused from those taxes that were to raise money to destroy such vermin. .But on filrther consideration, we are willing to give up that point to the governor, ‘and agree that theirestates may on other considerations be equally benefitted; concluding witbal, that they ought therefore equally to pay.‘ For as to the conditions .of con

i u n I sent, the governor mentlons, they are merely imaginary, though the gore;

nor speaks of them with the same apparent assurance asif he had the contract between the then governor and assembly under hand andrseal in his possession. The exempting proviso in that act, the governor says, is ‘ declarative of the rights of the proprietaries station, of which vthe people in general might be ignorant.’ Be it so then, and let us see what are'the words: ‘ Provided also, that the proprietary and governor's proper estate shall not be liable to 'be rated 0r assessed, by virtue oft/ii: act.’ We submit. Their estate must not be taxed by virtue of that act, for the purposes intended by that act: ’,tis the right of their station, it seems. But is this a reason why they. should not be taxed by any other act, for any other purposes, or' by another act for the same purposes, when it shall become reasonable and necessary?

There is in the same act, an exemption from the same tax, of all ‘um settled tracts or parcels of land,’ belonging to any person whatsoever, Is this too, declarative of the right of such landholders station, and does it: expressly declare, that those gentlemen are ‘not liable to taxes?’ if so, why did not the governor object to that part of our bill likewise, which , proposes to tax all located-lands, on this occasion, whether settled or un



settled. Those plain words, the proprietary estate shall not be liable to be rated by virtue of this act, must be stretched on the rack before they can be extended, as the governor extends them, to a general declaration, ‘that the proprietary estate is not liable to taxes.’ But he is a dextrous disputer, and can at pleasure change the meanings of the plainest words, and make them signify more or less, as it suits his purpose. As, for another instance; we had asked this question, ‘ whether, supposing the proprietary estate to be taxed, it would be equitable that he should have anegative in‘the choice of the assessors, since that would give him halfthe'choice,though he were to pay perhaps not a hundredth part of the tax 2’ the governor eagerly lays hold of these very loose and uncertain words [‘ though he were to pay perhaps not a hundredth part’] which are introduced merely for the argument sake, and construes them into a determination of what would be the proprietaries proportion, which he is pleased to agree to, by telling us, ‘I think with you that the proprietary tax would not be more than a hundredth part of the whole,’ when ’tis plain we had no thought at all of fixing any proportion to be paid by the proprietary estate, or any other estate, being destitute of the proper informations, and having by the bill left that matter to the commissioners and assessors, who were to have before them the constables returns, and to be sworn, or solemnly afl‘irmed, to do equal justice, after informing themselves of‘ the value of estates in the best mannerthey could, by all the means in their power. But had we mentioned thousandth or ten thousandth part, we make no doubt the governor would have been complaisant enough to think with us in that particular, though we should difl'er in every thing else. 7 t

The governor ‘ cannot easily conceive,’ he is pleased to say, ‘that a negative upon a choice is half that choice, or indeed any part of it.’ We think a negative may be in efi‘ect more than half the choice, and even amount to the whole, if it be repeated till there is no choice left but that which the possessor of the negativing power chooses. The peers of Great Britain have no vote, nor can they intermeddle in the election of a commoner; and yet the commons claim it as a fundamental right to subject their estates to taxes by a bill, the whole of which the lords must either refuse or pass. And that august body, who contribute so largely to the public stock, acquiesce in it as a suflicient security for their estates. But our proprietaries are unhappily of different sentiments, and cannot think themselves safe, unless their whole estate here be entirely exempted, and the burden of defending it become an additional weight to the taxes on our mother country, and on the freemen of this and the neighbouring colonies- ' The governor is grievously offended at an expression in‘ our message, that we have in our bill allowed him a share in the disposition of the fifly thousand pounds; and thunders over,‘ us in a storm of angry questions, ‘ Is it fi‘om you, gentlemen, that I derive the right of governing this province, or from your allowance that I have a voice in the legislature? are you the sovereign disposcrs of power? bane you the right to give and take away at

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-~grants of provisions, &c. to the king’s use.

pleasure? if not, whence that lofty claim of allowing the governor a- share in the disposition of the public money?’ if the governor will but have a little patience, we shall endeavour, by a few cool sober questions, to explain this matter to him as well as we are able. Are not all money bills to take their rise in the house? can he possibly have any share in the disposition of public money if it is not raised? and can it be raised without our al

lowance? has the governor a right to make any amendments to a money '

bill ? if, therefore, a clause is put into such bill, giving him a voi'cev in the disposition of our money, must not such clause be first allowed by us to be inserted? to what purpose then were all those haughty questions? we shall answer them in a few words. Wehre not ‘ the sovereign disposers of power;’ nor does the governor ‘ derive from us the right of governing this province;’ it were a vain thing in us to say it, since his being our governor would alone be a sutiicient proof to the contrary. \

The governor is pleased to say, that he studiously avoided every thing that could renew the disputes subsisting between us; and earnestly recommended the same temper of mind to us. This may be right, so far as relates to his first speech at the opening of the session; but in his amend

ments to our bill, it appeared to us, that he studiously proposed every thing ‘

that he thought could disgust us, in hopes of engaging us in some other dispute than that on taxing the proprietaries estate, and of making the bill with the session ineffectual and abortive. Why else, among other things, did he stri-lie out that harmless part of the preamble, which gave, as a reason‘ for the'bill, the exhausting of our treasury by our late expensive He did not choose the bill should mention any thing we had done, lest by that means it should reach the royal ear, and refute his repeated accusations that we ‘ had done nothing, nor would do any thing, for defence of the country;’ when he knows in his conscience we have given all in our power; and it was well we had it in our power togive something, otherwise neither the British nor New

' England troops would have had the provisions we furnished; for could the

governor possibly have done it, we have reasonto believe he would have defeated our grant; he can no more bear to let us do any thing commendable, than he can bear to hear what we have done mentioned.

It is true the governor recommended a good temper of mind to us; he can make plausible speeches, that will read well in other places where his conduct is not known. Indeed they appear not so much to be made for us as for others; to shew the ministry at home his great zeal-for his majesty’s service and concern for the welfare of this people! and to recommend himself, as it should seem, to some better post hereafter, rather than to obtain the present points that seem to be persuaded. F'or of what avail are the best speeches, not accompanied with suitable actions? he has recommended dispatch in very good words, and immediately hatched some dispute vto occasion delay. He can recommend peace and unanimity in fine and moving language, and immediately contrive something to provoke and ex

" 'Jite discord; the settled scheme being, not to let us do any thing that may

recommend us to those with whom he would ruin us. He would appear to be in great earnest to have something done, and spurs violently with both

' heels, but takes care at the same time to rein in strongly with both

hands, lest the public business before us should go forward. When we offered him to raise money on the excise, a method long in use, and found easy to the people, he quarrelled with us about the time of extending the act, complained it would raise too little, and yet was for shortening the term. Obsolete instructions were mustered up against it, though acts of the same kind had been since passed by the crown. Acts of parliament made for other colonies were to be enforced here, and the like. Then he called out for a tax, which the proprietaries themselves (in their answer to our representation) allowed to be the most equitable way of raising money; thinking, it is like, that we should never agree to a tax. But now when we offer an equitable tax on all‘estates real and personal, he refuses that, because the proprietaries are to be taxed!

The governor thinks himself injuriously treated by our request, ‘that he would not make himself the hateful instrument of reducingafree people to the abject state of vassalage,’ and asks, ‘ what grounds have you, gentlemen, for this heavy charge? what laws of imposition abhorrent to common justice and common reason have I attempted to force down your throats?’ &c. A law to tax the people of Pennsylvania to defend the proprietary estate, and to exempt the proprietary estate from bearing any part of the tax, is, may it please the governor, a law abhorrent to common justice, common reason, and common sense. This is a law of imposition that the governor would force down our throats, by'taking advantage of the distress of our country, the defence of which he will not suffer us to pro’ vide for, unless we will comply with it. Our souls rise against. it. We cannot swallow it. What other instance would the governor desire us to give of his endeavouring to reduce us to a state of vassalage 2 he calls upon us for an instance. We give him the very law in question, as the strongest of instances. Vassals must follow their lords to the wars in defence of their lands; our lord proprietary, though a subject like ourselves, would send us out to fight for him, while he keeps himself a thousand leagues remote from danger! vassals fight at their lords expence, but our lord would have us defend his estate at our own expence! this is not merely vassalage, it is worse than any vassalage we have heard of; it is something we have no adequate name for: it is even more slavish than slavery itself. And ll the governor can accomplish it, he will be deemed the hateful instrument (how much soever he is disgusted with the epithet) as long as history can

preserve the memory of his administration. Does the governor think to

exculpate himself, by calling upon us to prove him guilty of crimes we have never charged him with? whose liberty ‘have 1 taken away? whose property have I invaded? if‘ he can force us into this law, the liberty and property, not only of one man, but of all men in the province, will be invaded and taken away; and this to aggrandize our intended lord, encrcase and secure his estate at our cost, and give him the glorious privilege that

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