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In case the weather should prove unfavorable for Lord Howe to pass in his boat to Staten Island tomorrow, as from the present appearance there is some reason to suspect, he will take the next earliest opportunity that offers for that purpose. In this intention he may be further retarded, having been an invalid lately; but will certainly give the most timely notice of that inability. He, however, flatters himself he shall not have occasion to make further excuses on that account.*

In Congress, September 13th. The committee appointed to confer with Lord Howe, having returned, made a verbal report.

“Ordered, that they make a report in writing, as soon as conveniently they can.

September 17th. The committee appointed to confer with Lord Howe, agreeable to the order of Congress, brought in a report in writing, which was read as follows.

“« In obedience to the orders of Congress, we have had a meeting with Lord Howe. It was on Wednesday last, upon Staten Island, opposite to Amboy, where his Lordship received and entertained us with the utmost politeness.

“ His Lordship opened the conversation by acquainting us, that, though he could not treat with us as a committee of Congress, yet, powers

enabled him to confer and consult with any private gentlemen of influence in the colonies, on the means of restoring peace between the two countries, he was glad of this opportunity of conferring with us on that subject, if we thought ourselves at liberty to enter into a conference with him in that character.

«• We observed to his Lordship, that, as our business was to hear, he might consider us in what light he pleased, and communicate to us any proposition he might be authorized to make for the purpose mentioned; but that we could consider ourselves in no other character, than that in which we were placed by order of Congress.

as his

* The committee being arrived at Amboy, opposite to the Island, and in possession of the Americans, the admiral sent over his barge to receive and bring them to him, and to leave one of his principal officers as a hostage for their safe return. The committee of Congress had not desired a hostage, and they therefore took the officer back with them. The admiral met them at their landing, and conducted them through his guards to a convenient room for conference. - W. T. F.

“ His Lordship then entered into a discourse of considerable length, which contained no explicit proposition of peace except one, namely, that the colonies should return to their allegiance and obedience to the government of Great Britain. The rest consisted principally of assurances, that there was an exceeding good disposition in the King and his ministers to make that government easy to us, with intimations, that, in case of our submission, they would cause the offensive acts of Parliament to be revised, and the instructions to governors to be reconsidered ; that so, if any just causes of complaint were found in the acts, or any errors in government were perceived to have crept into the instructions, they might be amended or withdrawn.

“« We gave it as our opinion to his Lordship, that a return to the domination of Great Britain was not now to be expected. We mentioned the repeated humble petitions of the colonies to the King and Parliament, which had been treated with contempt, and answered only by additional injuries; the unexampled patience we had shown under their tyrannical government; and that it was not till the last act of Parliament, which denounced war against us, and put us out of the King's protection, that we declared our independence; that this declaration had been called for by the people of the colonies in general ; that every colony had approved of it, when made; and all now considered themselves as independent States, and were settling or had settled their governments accordingly; so that it was not in the power of Congress to agree for them, that they should return to their former dependent state; that there was no doubt of their inclination to peace, and their willingness to enter into a treaty with Britain, that might be advantageous to both countries; that, though his Lordship had at present no power to treat with them as independent States, he might, if there was the same good disposition in Britain, much sooner obtain fresh powers from thence, than powers could be obtained by Congress from the several colonies to consent to a submission.

“ • His Lordship then saying, that he was sorry to find that no accommodation was likely to take place, put an end to the conference.

“Upon the whole, it did not appear to your committee, that his Lordship's commission contained any other authority of importance than what is expressed in the act of Parliament, namely, that of granting pardons, with such exceptions as the commissioners shall think proper to make, and of declaring America, or any part of it, to be in the King's peace, upon submission; for, as to the power of inquiring into the state of America, which his Lordship mentioned to us, and of conferring and consulting with any persons the commissioners might think proper, and representing the result of such conversation to the ministry, who, provided the colonies would subject themselves, might, after all, or might not, at their pleasure, make any alterations in the former instructions to governors, or propose in Parliament any amendment of the acts complained of, we apprehended any expectation from the effect of such a power would have been too uncertain and precarious to be relied on by America, had she still continued in her state of dependence.'

“Ordered, that the foregoing report, and also the message from Lord Howe, as delivered by General Sullivan, and the resolution of Congress in consequence thereof, be published by the committee, who brought in the foregoing report."




In the month of July, 1776, a convention of delegates was held in Pennsylvania for the purpose of forming a constitution for that State. Dr. Franklin was president of the convention. Whilst it was in session, a new plan of Confederation was reported to Congress, in which it was provided, that each State should have one vote in determining questions. The following Protest was drawn up by Dr. Franklin, with the view of bringing it before the convention of Pennsylvania ; “but he was dissuaded from endeavouring to carry it through, from prudential considerations respecting the necessary union, at that critical period, of all the States in confederation." - EDITOR.

We, the representatives of the State of Pennsylvania in full convention met, having duly considered the plan of confederation formed in Congress, and submitted to the several States, for their assent or dissent, do hereby declare the dissent of this State to the same, for the following reasons, viz.

1. Because the foundation of every confederation, intended to be lasting, ought to be laid in justice and equity, no unfair advantage being given to, or taken by, any of the contracting parties.

2. Because it is, in the nature of things, just and equal, that the respective States of the confederacy should be represented in Congress, and have votes there in proportion to their importance, arising from their numbers of people, and the share and degree of strength they afford to the united body. And therefore the seventeenth article, * which gives one vote to the smallest State, and no more to the largest, when the difference between them may be as ten to one, or greater, is unjust, and injurious to the larger States, since all of them are by other articles obliged to contribute in proportion to their respective abilities.

3. Because the practice hitherto in Congress, of allowing only one vote to each colony, was originally aken up under a conviction of its impropriety and injustice, was intended to be in some future time corrected, and was then and since submitted to only as a temporary expedient, to be used in ordinary business, until the means of rectifying the same could be obtained. This clearly appears by the resolve of Congress, dated September 6th, 1774, being the day of its meeting, which resolve is in these words; “That, in determining questions in this Congress, each colony or province shall have one vote, the Congress not being possessed of, or at present able to procure, proper materials for ascertaining the importance of each colony." That importance has since been supposed to be best found in the numbers of the people; for the Congress, not only by their resolution when the issuing of bills was agreed to, but by this present confederation, have judged, that the contribution towards sinking those bills and to the common expense should be in proportion to such numbers, when they could be taken, which has

* This forms part of the fifth article of the Confederation, as finally greed to by all the States. In the eighth article of Dr. Franklin's draft, (see above, p. 93,) he had provided, that “each delegate at the Congress should have a vote in all cases." For the author's further views on this subject, see his “Speech in a Committee of the Convention, on the Proportion of Representation and Votes," p. 149. -EDITOR.

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