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have accrued from the Assembly's prudent care and management of these funds.
Yet the proprietaries resolved to deprive the Assemblies of the power and means of supporting an agent in England, and of prosecuting their complaints and remonstrating their aggrievances, when injured and oppressed, to his Majesty and his Parliament; and, to rob them of this natural right (which has been so often approved of by their gracious Sovereign), have, by their said instructions, prohibited their governor from giving his assent to any laws emitting or reëmitting any paper currency or bills of credit, or for raising money by excise or any other method; unless the governor or commander-in-chief for the time being, by clauses to be inserted therein, have a negative in the disposition of the moneys arising thereby; let the languishing circumstances of our trade be ever so great, and a further or greater medium be ever so necessary for its support.
Fourthly. By the laws and statutes of England, the chief rents, honors, and castles of the crown are taxed, and pay their proportion to the supplies that are granted to the King for the defence of the realm and support of government. His Majesty, the nobility of the realm, and all the British subjects do now actually contribute their proportion towards the defence of America in general, and this province in particular; and it is in a more especial manner the duty of the proprietaries to pay their proportion of a tax for the immediate preservation of their own estates in this province. To exempt, therefore, any part of their estates from their reasonable part of this necessary burthen, is as unjust as it is illegal, and as new as it is arbitrary.
Yet the proprietaries, notwithstanding the general danger to which the nation and its colonies are exposed,
and great distress of this province in particular by their said instructions have prohibited their governors from passing laws for the raising supplies for its defence; unless all their located, unimproved, and unoccupied lands, quit-rents, fines, and purchase moneys on interest, (the much greater part of their enormous estates in this colony,) are expressly exempted from paying any part of the tax.
Fifthly. By virtue of the said royal charter, the proprietaries are invested with a power of doing all things, ngs, "which unto a complete establishment of justice, unto courts and tribunals, forms of judicature, and manner of proceedings, do belong." It was certainly the import and design of this grant, that the courts of judicature should be formed, and the judges and officers thereof hold their commissions, in a manner not repugnant, but agreeable to the laws and customs of England; that thereby they might remain free from the influence of persons in power, the rights of the people might be preserved, and their properties effectually secured. That the grantee, William Penn, (understanding the said grant in this light) did, by his original frame of government, covenant and grant with the people, that the judges and other officers should hold their commissions during their good behaviour, and no longer.
Notwithstanding which, the governors of this province have, for many years past, granted all the commissions to the judges of the King's Bench or supreme court of this province, and to the judges of the court of Common Pleas of the several counties, to be held during their will and pleasure; by means whereof the said judges being subject to the influence and directions of the proprietaries and their governors, their favorites and creatures, the laws may not be duly
administered or executed, but often wrested from their true sense to serve particular purposes; the foundation of justice may be liable to be destroyed; and the lives, laws, liberties, privileges, and properties of the people thereby rendered precarious and altogether insecure ; to the great disgrace of our laws, and the inconceivable injury of his Majesty's subjects.
Your committee further beg leave to add, that, besides these aggrievances, there are other hardships the people of this province have experienced, that call for redress. The enlistment of servants without the least satisfaction being made to the masters, has not only prevented the cultivation of our lands, and diminished the trade and commerce of the province; but is a burthen extremely unequal and oppressive to individuals. And, should the practice continue, the consequence must prove very discouraging to the further settlement of this colony, and prejudicial to his Majesty's future service. Justice, therefore, demands that satisfaction should be made to the masters of such enlisted servants, and that the right of masters to their servants be confirmed and settled. But, as those servants have been enlisted into his Majesty's service for the general defence of America, and not of this province only, but all the colonies, and the nation in general, have and will receive equal benefit from their service, this satisfaction should be made at the expense of the nation, and not of the province only.
That the people now labor under a burthen of taxes almost insupportable by so young a colony, for the defence of its long-extended frontier, of about two hundred miles from New Jersey to Maryland; without either of those colonies, or the three lower counties on Delaware, contributing their proportion thereto; though their frontiers are in a great measure covered
and protected by our forts. And, should the war continue, and with it this unequal burthen, many of his Majesty's subjects in this province will be reduced to want; and the province, if not lost to the enemy, involved in debt and sunk under its load.
That, notwithstanding this weight of taxes, the Assemblies of this province have given to the general service of the nation five thousand pounds to purchase provisions for the troops under General Braddock ; £2,985. Os. 11d. for clearing a road by his orders; £ 10,514. 10s. 1d. to General Shirley, for the purchasing provisions for the New England forces; and expended the sum of £2,385 0s. 2d. in supporting the inhabitants of Nova Scotia; which likewise we conceive ought to be a national expense.
And that his Majesty's subjects, the merchants and insurers in England, as well as the merchants here and elsewhere, did during the last, and will during the present war, greatly suffer in their property, trade, and commerce, by the enemy's privateers on this coast, and at our capes, unless some method be fallen on to prevent it.
Wherefore your committee are of opinion, that the commissioners, intended to be sent to England to solicit a memorial and redress of the many infractions and violations of the constitution, should also have it in charge, and be instructed, to represent to our most gracious Sovereign and his Parliaments the several unequal burthens and hardships before mentioned; and endeavour to procure satisfaction to the masters of such servants as have been enlisted, and the right of masters to their servants established and confirmed; and obtain a repayment of the said several sums of money, some assistance towards defending our extensive frontier, and a vessel of war to protect the trade and commerce of this province.
Submitted to the correction of the House.