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ever salutary to the community, which had the most remote tendency to iniure the interests of his sover. eign. Even should they receive his assent, the anprobation of the king was to be necessary; who would indubitably, in every instance, prefer the advantage of his own dominions to that of his own colonies. Hence would ensue perpetual disagreenients between the council and the president-general, and thus between the people of America and the crown of Great Britain: while the colonies continued weak, they would be obliged to subinit, and as soon as they acquired strength, they would become more urgent in their demands, until, at length, they would shake ofi the yoke,' and declare themselves independent.
Whilst the French were in possession of Canada, their trade with the natives extended very far; even to the back of the British settlements. They were disposed, from time to time, to establishi posts within the territory, which the English claimed as their own. Independent of the injury to the fur trade, which was considerable, the colonies suffered this further inconvenience, that the Indians were frequently instigated to commit depredations on their frontiers. In the year 1753, encroachments were made upon the boundaries of Virginia. Remonstrances had no effect. In the ensuing year, a body of men were sent out under the command of Mr. Washington, who, though a very young man, had by his conduct in the preceding year, shown himself worthy of such an important trust. Whilst marching to take possession of the post at the junction of the Allegany and Monongahela, he was informed that the French had already erected'a fort there. A detachment of their men marched against him. He fortified himself as strongly as time and circumstances would admit. A superiority of numbers soon compelled him to surrender Fort Necessity. He obtained honourable terins for himself and men, and returned to Virginia. The government of Great Britain now thought it necessary to interfere. In the year 1755, General Braddock, with some regiments of regular troops and provincial levies, was sent to dispossess the French of the post upon which they had seized. After the muen were all ready, a difficui.
junction of the intake possession of the post at the
ty oocurred, which had nearly prevented the expeJition. This was the want of waggons. Franklin now stepped forward, and with the assistance of his son, in a little time procured a hundred and fifty. Braddock unfortunately fell into an ambuscade, and perished, with a number of his men. Washington, who had accompanied him as an aid-de-camp, and had warned him, in vain of his danger, now displayed great military talents in affecting a retreat of the remains of the army, and in forming a junction with the roar, under colonel Dunbar, upon whom the chief command now devolved. With some difficulty they brought their little body to a place of safety, but they found it necessary to destroy their waggons and baggage, to prevent them from falling into he hands of the enemy. For the waggons which he had furnished, Franklin had given bonds to a large amount. The owners declared their intention of obliging him to make a restitution of their property. Nad they put their threats in execution, ruin must inevitably have been the consequence. Governor Shirley, finding that he had incurred those debts for the service of government, made arrangements to have them discharged, and released Franklin fronı his disagreeable situation.
The alarm spread through the colonies, after the defeat of Braddock, was very great. Preparations to arm were every where made. In Pennsylvania, the prevalence of the quaker interest prevented the adoption of any system of defence, which would compel the citizens to bear arms. Franklin introduced into the Assembly a bill for organizing a militia. by which every man was allowed to take arms 0: not, as to him shoulu appear fit. The quakers, being thus left at liberty, suffered the bill to pass : for al. though their principles would not suffer them to fight, they had no objection to their neighbours fighting for them. In consequence of this act a very respectable militia was forined. The sense of impending danger infused a military spirit in all, whose religious tenets were not opposed to war. Franklin was appointed colonel of a regiment in Philadelphia, which con. sisted of 1200 men.
The north-western frontier being invaded by the enemy, it became necessary to adopt measures for its defence. Franklin was directed by the Govern. or to take charge of this. A power of raising men, and of appointing officers to command them,' was vested in him. He soon levied a body of troops, with which he repaired to the place at which their presence was necessary. Here he built a fort, and nlaced the garrison in such a posture of defence, as would enable them to withstand the inroads, to which the inhabitants had been previously exposed. He remained here for some time, in order the more coinpletely to discharge the trust committted to him. Some business of importance at length rendered his presence necessary in the lace bly and he returned 10 ladelpla
The defence of her colonies was a great expense to Great Britain. The most effectual mode of lessening this was, to put arms into the hands of the inha- . bitants, and to teach them their use. But England wished not that the Americans should become acquainted with their own strength. She was apprehensive, that, as soon as this period arrived, they would no longer submit to that monopoly of their trade, which to them was highly injurious, but extremely advantageous to the mother country. In comparison with the profits of this, the expense of maintaining armies and fleets to defend them was trifling. She fought to keep them dependent upon her for protection; the best plan which could be devised for retaining them in peaceable subjection. The least appearance of a military spirit was therefore 1o be guarded against; and although a war then raged, the act of organizing a militia was disapproved of by the ministry. The regiments which had been formed under it were disbanded, and the defence of the province entrusted to regular troops.
The disputes between the proprietaries and the people continued in full force, although a war was raging on the frontiers. Not even the sense of dayger was sufficient to reconcile, for ever so short a time, their jarring interests. The Assembly still in-, sisted upon the justice of taxing the proprietary es
tates, but the governors constantly refused their assent to this measure, without which no bill could pass into a law. Enraged at the obstinacy, and what they conceived to be unjust proceedings of their opponents, the Assembly at length determined to ap. ply to the mother-country for relief. A petition was addressed to the king, in council, stating the inconveniences under which the inhabitants laboured, from the attention of the proprietaries to their private interests, to the neglect of the general welfare of the community, and praying for redress. Franklin was appointe i to present this address, as agent for the province of Pennsylvania, and departed from America in June, 1757. In conformity to the instructions which he had received from the legislature, he held a conference with the proprietaries who then resided in England, and endeavoured to prevail upon them to give up the long-contested point. Finding that they would hearken to no terms of accommodation, he laid his petition before the council. During this time Gov. ernor Denny assented to a law imposing a tax, in which no discrimination was made in favour of the estates of the Penn family. They, alarmed at this intelligence, and Franklin's exertions, used their utmost endeavours to prevent the royal sanction being given to this lav
v which they represented as highly iniquitous, designed to throw the burden of supporting government upon them, and calculated to produce the most ruinous consequences to them and their posterity. The cause was amply discussed before the privy council. The Penns found here some strenuous advocates; nor were there wanting some who warmly espoused the side of the people. After some time spent in debate, à proposal was made, thar Franklin should solemnly engage, that the assessment of the tax should be so inade, as that the proprietary estates should pay no more than a due proportion. This he agreed to perform, the Penn famiiy withdrew their opposition, and tranquillity was thus once more restored to the province.
The mode in which this dispute was terminated, is a striking proof of the high oninion entei tained of Franklin's integrity and honour, even by those who
considered him as inimical to their views. Nor was their confidence ill-founded. The assessment was made upon the strictest principle of equity; and the proprietary estates bore only a proportionable share of the expenses of supporting government.
After the completion of this important business, Franklin remained at the court of Great Britain, as agent for the province of Pennsylvania. The extensive knowledge which he possessed of the situation of the colonies, and the regard which he always manifested for their interests, occasioned bis appointment to the same office by the colonies of Massachusetts, Maryland, and Georgia. His conduct, in this situa. tion was such as rendered him still more dear to his countrymen.
He had now an opportunity of indulging in the society of those friends, whom his merits had procured him while at a distance. The regard which they had entertained for him was rather increased by a personal acquaintance. The opposition which had been made to his dicoveries in philosophy gradually ceased, and the rewards of literary merit were abundant. ly conferred upon him. The Royal Society of Lon. don, which had at first refused his performances ad. mission into its transactions, now thought it an ho nour to rank him amongst its fellows. Other soscieties of Europe were equally ambitious of calling him a member. The university of St. Andrew's, in Scotland conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws. Its example was followed by the universi. ties of Edinburgh and Oxford. His correspondence was sought for by the most eminent philosophers of Europe." His letters to these abound with true science, delivered in the most simple unadorned manner.
The province of Canada was at this time in the possession of the French, who had originally settled it. The trade with the Indians, for which its situation was very convenient, was exceedingly lucrative. The French traders here found a market for their commodities, and received in return large quantities of rich furs, which they disposed of at a high price in Europe. Whilst the possession of this