« ZurückWeiter »
the French declaration delivered, and the reply of the Indians, which was firm and resolute, but not to be relied upon as they were in want of all things.”—So far was matter of in— telligence. The rest was a pathetic representation of dangers and mischiefs to be apprehended on their own frontiers, and cxhortations to enable him to give the Indians assistance answerable to their exigencies. ' ‘ And upon the heels of this message, the governor also communicated to them the answer of the proprietaries to the representation of the assembly above exhibited; and
which, if purposely calculated to divide the province and in- (
flame the animosities already kindled, could not have been better framed or better timed for those fatal purposes.‘
I Professions of attachment to the true and real interest of r
the province, of sparing no cost or pains whenever it should appear to them necessary to advance it, and acting such a part in considering the matter of the representation as all disinterested persons should think just, they set out with: and, having made this ground for themselves, they proceed to charge the assembly with being actuated by ill will to them on one hand, and a desire to ingratiate themselves with the weaker part of the electors on the other. In the next paragraph they say after we had, ‘ ordered our governor to give you the answer which he did, to your former application, we had no reason to expect a repetition of the application directly to ourselves, as you might well suppose we had considered the matter before we had returned'our first answer,‘ and the repeating the request could only produce the repeating the answer, the occasion for which does not appear to us. It is possible, that one purpose may be in order to shew more publicly this dillerence in opinion between us and yourselves; and if that was ever intended, it will be convenient we should set this matter in a clear light (although it may make our answer longer than- we could wish) that the true state of the matter may appear.’ '
They then urge the authority of the board of trade, in justification of their former assertion, that they were no more obliged to contribute to the public charges, than the chief governor
of any other colony: they will not allow that their honoured father had any assistance from the people in making his purchases, or that there is the least colour for pressing them so unseasonably to contribute to the public charge, seeing that the said charge‘fiid not much exceed one half of the revenue :--and they not only return to their first charge, that the assembly by so doing7 could only mean to captivate. the weakest of the people, and so by their assistance continue to hold their seats in the assembly, but farther, cite as so many proofs, the time of making their first representation, which was just before an election: their printing the report and most extraordinary resolutions on which the said representation was founded, which seemed to argue it was rather intended as an address to them the said populace, than to the proprietaries, and the solemn repetition of the same request as if it was a matter of great value and importance.Take the next article in their own words. ‘Wherefore, on this occasion, it is necessary that we should inform the peo' ple, through yourselves their representatives, that, as by the constitution, our consent is necessary to their laws, at the same time that they have an undoubted right to such as are necessary for the defence and real service of the country"; so, it will tend the better to facilitate the several matters which must be transacted with us, for their representatives to shew a‘ regard to us and our interest: for, considering the rank which the crown has been pleased to give us in
I Pennsylvania, we shall‘expectfrom the people’s represen
tatives on all occasions, a treatment suitable thereto; and that whilst we desire to govern the province according to law only, they should be as careful to support our interests, as we shall always be to support theirs.’ ' Recurring again to the revenue, they affected to be truly concerned for being obliged to acquaint the public with a state of it, settle that state at six thousand pounds ayear, arising from the excise and the provincial bills: again assert, that the annual expence of government for a series of years, including Indian charges, amounts to little more‘ than half that sum: and that of all this'revenue, about four hundred
pounds a year only has, on an average, for twenty years past (and great part of that time during war) been expended in
, presents to the Indians and charges on that account, which
they could not conceive to be a large sum, compared with that revenue, the manner of its being raised, and so important a service as that of keeping the united nations of Indians in the interest of Great-Britain.
They then talk of the taxes paid by their family here at home, as an equivalent to the Indian article; and then proCeecl in the following remarkable terms. ‘And at the same time that we shew you that we do pay all other taxes here, that on land only excepted, we must advise you to be very careful, not to put people here in mind of that single exeruption. Several proposals have been made for laying taxes on North America, and it is most easy to foresee, that the self-same act of parliament that shall lay them on our, will also lay them on your estates, and on those of your constituents.’
In the next article, having denied, that the assembly had always paid the interpreter to his satisfaction, and insisted that they themselves had gratified him when the assembly‘ had refused to pay him what he thought his services deserved; they add, in ahigher tone: ‘however, with respect to any ex— pence of that sort, and many others here, we entered into them without any expectation of being repaid, and should think it far beneath us to send the accounts of them to the house of representatives, as your agents employed by your— selves might do, for the expences incurred by them.’
Proceeding in the same style, they say in the next article, ‘we do not conceive that any act of assembly does, or can establish what you call a monopoly in us for the purchase of lands: we derive no right or property from any such law: it is under the king’s royal charter that we have the sole right to make such purchases,’ &c.
It is fit the last five articles should be inserted intire ; and they are verbatim as follows, viz.
‘12. Your assertion that treaties for land are made ata less expence to us, on actlaunt of provincial presents being
given at the same time, does not appear to us to be founded on fact: the last purchase was\ma(le on no other account, but, purely to save the province the expence of making another present to some Indians, who come down after the time that the principal deputation had received the presents intended for the whole, and were on their return back; and the land was bought very dear on that account, other treaties for land have been made when provincial presents have not been given; and we do not or ever did desire that the inhabitants
I should bear any part of the expence of Indians, who come
down solely at our request to consent to the sale of lands, unless they stay on other public business also; and whenever they have come down on both accounts, we are sensible the expence has been divided in a manner very favourable to the public.
‘ 13. ‘Ve are far from desiring to avoid contributing to any public expence which it is reasonable we should bear a part
of, although our estate is not, by law, liableto be taxed. As we
have already been, so we doubt not we shall always be, at a far greater expense in attending the affairs of the province, than our estate could be taxed at, if all the estates in the province were rated to the public charges, which would be the only fair way of establishing a proportion. If we were willing to consent to any such matter, the value of ourestate, and of the estates of all the inhabitants, ought to be considered, and the whole expence proportionably laid upon the whole value ; in which case, you will find, that the expence which we voluntarily submit to, out of affection to the inhabitants, is much more than such our proportion so laid would amount to: besides these general expences, the first of us sent cannon,
at his own charge, to the amount of above four hundred pounds '
sterling, for the defence of our city of Philadelphia, neglected by a late house of representatives; which, alone, is such a sum as the proportion of a tax on our estate would not in many years amount to. And, as this is the case, we are not disposed to enter into any agreement with the house of representatives for payment of any particular proportion of Indian or other public expence, but shall leave it to them (to
whom it of right belongs) to provide for such expcnce, as they shall judge necessary for the public service.
‘14. As you desire to appear willing on your parts,to ease your constituents of a small part of the Indians’ expence, by throwing it upon us, we shall, on our part, and hereby do recommend it to you to give them a real and far greater relief, by taking oil~ a large share of that only tax which is borne hy
them. As the general expence amounts to little more than
three thousand pounds a year, we conceive it may very well be provided for out of the interest of the paper-money, and one half of the present excise; especially, if we shall be induced, from the state of your trade (which; we expect soon to receive) to consent to an increase of your paper-currency, this would ease the inhabitants of about fifteen hundred pounds a year, which would be felt by many of them, when they would not be sensible of the trifle you propose we should contribute to the public expence. We have directed the governor to consent to such a law when you shall think fit to present it to him.
‘15. As we shall ever, in the first place, endeavour to promote the real interests of the good people of Pennsylvania we make no doubt of preserving an union and harmony between us and them, unless men of warm or uneasy spirits should unhappily procure themselves to be elected for repre~ sentatives, and should, for the supporting of their ‘own private views, or interestsminfluence their brethren, otherwise honest and well-designing, to espouse their cause; in such case indeed, disputes may arise, wherein we shall engage with the utmost reluctance; but even then, as we shall make the_general good the rule of our actions, we shall, on all such occasions, if ever they should happen, steadily, and without, wavering, pursue measures the most likely to conduce to that good end.
‘16. The representatives being annually chosen, we are aware that we are not writing now to the same persons who sent the representation to us; the persons most forward to
push on a. measure (which, .from the answer, we directed
our governor. to give to the former application he was de