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CHAPTER VII.

Governor Morris's Arrival at Philadelphia, and first Speech to a new Assembly. The Assembly's Answer and Adjournment. Being assembled again, the Governor in his Speech requires them to raise and keep up a considerable Body of Troops. They present a Bill for raising Forty Thousand Pounds on the former Plan. The old Instruction, and an Opinion of the Attorney-General's pleaded by the Governor in Bar of his Assent. A Message from the Assembly, fully demonstrating that Pennsylvania was not comprehended in the Instruction insisted upon; also desiring a Sight of the Instructions he himself had received from his Principals. A second Message, in which they call upon the Governor to give his Assent to the Bill. The Governor's Reply, declining the Bill as before, and evading the Communication of his Instructions. The Assembly's Rejoinder, justifying the Requisition they had made of his Instructions. The Governor questions their Right to have these Instructions laid before them. The unanimous Resolutions of the Assembly concerning the Proprietary Instructions, in which they declare it as their Opinion, that the said Instructions were the principal if not the sole Obstruction to their Bill. A Brief of the Governor's Surrejoinder. Some general Remarks.

In the beginning of October, 1754, much about the time of Mr. Morris's arrival at Philadelphia, a new assembly was to be chosen in the course of the year, and had been chosen accordingly.

To these summoned, according to form, up to his council-chamber, the new governor made a short speech, importing, "his persuasion that the proprietaries had nothing more at heart than the welfare and prosperity of the people; his own self-flattery, that it was from the opinion, that they had entertained of his disposition to promote the general happiness to the utmost of his power, they had made choice of him; the resolution he had taken not to disappoint them; assurances, that he should upon all occasions be studious to protect the people committed to his charge in their civil and religious privileges, and careful to maintain the just

rights of government, as equally conducive to the public good; a recommendation, in particular, of the state of the frontier, both of that and the neighbouring governments, where they would find the French acting with a steady uniformity and avowed resolution to make themselves masters of the country; an interspersion of certain stimulatives, drawn from a contemplation of the miseries they would be exposed to, in case they suffered the enemy to strengthen themselves in their posts; and an earnest call upon them, in his Majesty's name, to exert themselves at that critical juncture in defence of their country. And, lastly, a declaration, that if they should find any laws wanting for the better government of the province, he should be ready to enter upon the consideration of such as they should propose, and give his consent to such as he should think reasonable."

More doubts than confidence, it may be presumed, this speech excited; for the assembly having, upon the report, bestowed some time in the consideration of it, thought fit to call for a copy of the governor's commission, as also of the royal approbation, before they proceeded to answer it.

This answer was also as dry, and as cautiously worded, as the governor's speech. They echoed back what parts of it they could; and they joined issue with the governor in promising, with the same sincerity, to contribute every thing in their power to support him in the exertion of the just rights of government, conducive to the good ends by him specified. After which they proceeded in these words; "The encroachments of the French on his Majesty's territories, and their hostile proceedings in this time of peace, are truly alarming; and, as they have been long since known in Great Britain, we were in hopes, on the governor's arrival, to have received instructions from the crown how to con

duct ourselves on this important occasion; but, as we have not had any such laid before us, the royal order sent to the several colonies by the Earl of Holdernesse, in his letter of the 28th of August, 1753, appears to be the only rule by which we can now act with safety. And, as we find our late assembly did what was most consistent with the trust reposed in them to comply therewith, the governor may likewise depend upon our doing whatever can be reasonably expected from us for the good of this province, or the general interest of the British colonies on the continent, whenever our assistance can be applied to any valuable purpose. But at present, as we know not where to direct our aid, and as this has not been the usual time of doing business, occasioned by the governor's being obliged to give his attendance elsewhere, we are inclined, if he has no objection, or any thing farther to lay before us, to make a short adjournment; and if, during our recess, any matters of importance should come to his knowledge, we shall cheerfully attend the governor's call of our House, and contribute our assistance for the public good."

The result was, that the governor thanked them for their speech, and concurred in their proposition, upon which they adjourned accordingly.

In the beginning of December they met again, and then the governor communicated a letter from Sir Thomas Robinson, secretary of state, dated July 5th, 1754; by which it appears, that, for upwards of ten months, the case of the northern colonies, actually invaded by the French, had not been made the foremost point of consideration here at home; and, that the Americans were in a sort of disgrace at court, for not having broken through all the cautions laid upon

them before, and assumed and exercised all the powers of government in taking care of themselves.

Let the reader judge for himself.

"Whitehall, July 5th, 1754.

“SIR,

"Your letter of the 25th of November last, in answer to the Earl of Holdernesse's of the 28th of August, having been received and laid before the King, I am to acquaint you, that it is his Majesty's express command, that you should, in obedience thereto, not only act vigorously in the defence of the government under your care, but that you should likewise be aiding and assisting his Majesty's other American colonies to repel any hostile attempts made against them; and it was with great surprise, that the King observed your total silence upon that part of his Majesty's orders, which relates to a concert with the other colonies, which you must be sensible is now become more essentially necessary for their common defence, since the account received by you from Major Washington, with regard to the hostilities committed by the French upon the river Ohio; which verify in fact what was apprehended when the Earl of Holdernesse wrote so fully to you in August last, and which might have been in great measure, if not totally, prevented, had every one of his Majesty's governments exerted themselves according to those directions, the observance whereof I am now, by the King's command, to enforce to you in the strong

est manner.

"I am, &c."

The governor also accompanied this letter with a speech, in which occur the following curious particulars, viz.

"From the letters and intelligence I have ordered to be laid before you, it will appear that the French have now, at their fort at the Monongahela, above a thousand regular troops, besides Indians; that they are well supplied with provisions, and that they have lately received an additional number of cannon; that their upper forts are also well garrisoned and provided; and that they are making a settlement of three hundred families in the country of the Twigtwees, at the southwest end of the Lake Erie.

"From those papers you will likewise be informed of the use they have made of their last year's success among the Indians of the Six Nations, having prevailed with many of them to remove to Canada, who will either be neuter in the present dispute, or take up arms against us, while such few of the Indians, as still retain their attachment to the English, dare not be active for us, till they see a force in the field superior to that of the French; and if that be not soon, they will certainly give up our cause, and embrace the tempting offers made them by the French.

"Gentlemen, it is now several years since the French undertook this expedition, and we have long had full intelligence of their designs, and of the steps they have taken to carry them into execution; their progress indeed has been very surprising, owing chiefly to the inactivity of the English colonies, who, I am sorry to say, have looked with too much indifference upon an affair that must end in their ruin, if not timely prevented."

Poor colonies! Exposed on one hand; censured on the other.

- In a subsequent paragraph he also proceeds as follows;

"These encroachments of the French upon the

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