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give up one proprietary item; whereas the difficulty imposed upon the people manifestly was either to be a prey to their invaders, or give up every privilege that made their country worth defending; which shows, in the fullest, clearest, and most unanswerable manner, that all proprietary interposition between the sovereign and subject is alike injurious to both, and that the solecism of an imperium in imperio could hardly be more emphatically illustrated.
The Assembly make their Appeal to the Crown. The Governor's expostulatory Message thereon. He demands a Copy of their Minutes; they order him one when the printed Copies were finished, and adjourn. Upon Braddock's Arrival in Virginia, they are re-assembled by special Summons; the Demands made by Message on that Occasion. Twentyfive Thousand Pounds granted to the King's Use, to be raised by an Emission of Paper Bills. Refused by the Governor, on the old Pretence of a contrary Instruction. A Provision demanded for the Expense of an Indian Treaty. A Memorial to the Assembly from Mr. Quincy, a Commissioner from the Government of Massachusetts Bay. The Assembly resolves to raise the said sum on the Credit of the Province. Another Paper of Acknowledgment from the said Mr Quincy. The Governor revives the former Controversy. The Assembly's spirited Answer to his Message. A Remark thereon.
To the crown under this difficulty the assembly now thought it high time to make their appeal, in humble confidence, that a fair and modest state of their case would recommend them to the royal protection, and screen them from the malignity of their adversaries.
That the governor, however, might not, in the mean time, remain ignorant of their sentiments, they made another application to him by message; in which they apprized him of what they had done, and of their joining issue with him in submitting their cause to his Majesty's decision; as also, of their inclination to adjourn till May, for the sake of their own private affairs, to relieve the province from the expense they sat at, and suspend the uneasiness which a contest, like to be endless, and in which they were treated with so little decency, had given to them. And having thus, as they observed, reduced what immediately concerned them within a narrow compass, they first declare it was hard for them to conjecture how the governor came by his knowledge of the people's fondness of their currency
and aversion to restraints on that head; seeing they had not petitioned for any increase of it, nor the assembly offered any such bill during his administration, except that which comprehended the sum given for the King's use, and that only as the best method they could devise for making the grant effectual. On the behalf of the late assemblies they next insinuate, that, when they did offer such bills, they were but for a very moderate sum, founded on minute calculations of their trade, and guarded against the danger of depreciation by such securities as long experience had shown to be effectual. Proceeding then to the governor's re-assertion concerning the shameful slights put on the money-act of Queen Anne, they appeal to the testimony of the Board of Trade in favor of their own as a reasonable act, and the royal sanction given thereto, by which it is declared, that their provincial bills of credit are lawful money of America, according to the said act of Queen Anne; as also to the course of exchange ever since, as a full confutation of his charge. They further plead a necessity to differ from him in his state of the public money; assure him the computations he relied upon were made without skill, or a sufficient knowledge of their laws; adhere to the justice and rectitude of their own state; maintain, that, by the laws in being, seven thousand pounds was the most they had power over, which sum, since their last settlement, had been greatly reduced by the very heavy charges of government; and, having recapitulated what the governor had been pleased to say concerning the insufficience of their grant, &c., conclude in the following spirited manner;
"What the governor may think sufficient is as much a mystery to us, as he may apprehend his proprietary instructions are; but, we presume, it may be sufficient
for all the purposes in Sir Thomas Robinson's last letter, and as much or more, than we think can be reasonably expected from us. How the governor became so suddenly acquainted with the real value of our estates is not easy to conceive; but we know from long experience, having many of us received our birth in this province, that the inhabitants are not generally wealthy or rich, though we believe them to be, in the main, frugal and industrious; yet it is evident that their lands are greatly encumbered with their debts to the
blic. From these considerations, we are obliged to think the governor's estimation of our wealth is undoubtedly too high, unless he includes the value of the proprietary lands; for, by the report of a committee of assembly in August, 1752, it appears, that the taxables of this province did not exceed twenty-two thousand; and the grant we have offered of twenty thousand pounds, from the best calculations we can make, doth at least amount to five times the sum that hath ever been raised by a two-penny tax through this province. As we think the governor cannot be a competent judge of the real value of our estates, in this little time of his administration, and as we have now submitted our cause to higher determination, we conceive ourselves less concerned in his computations of our estates, whatever they may be.
"The governor is pleased to inform us, 'That the proprietaries are too nearly interested in the prosperity of this country to do any thing to its prejudice; and he should have imagined that the people could not now stand in need of any proofs of the proprietary affection, or suspect them of having any designs to invade their just rights and privileges, which, he is confident, they detest and abhor.' We cannot suppose the governor would mean they detest and abhor our just
rights and privileges; and yet we are convinced the clause in their commission to him, their lieutenant, whereby they empower him to act as fully and amply to all intents, constructions, and purposes, as they themselves might or could do, were they personally present, 'You, (our governor) following and observing such orders, instructions, and directions, as you now have, or hereafter from time to time shall receive from us, or our heirs,' is not only repugnant to our just rights and privileges, but impracticable, against common sense, against law, and void in itself; and yet, if the governor should think his hands are so tied up by these instructions, that he is not at liberty to act for the public good, we must conclude they are of dangerous consequence at all times, and particularly in this time of imminent danger, not only to ourselves, but to the British interest in North America."
To this message the governor returned a short answer in these words;
"I am very much surprised at your proposal to adjourn till May, as you have made no provision for the defence of the province, or granted the supplies expected by the crown, and recommended by the secretary of state's letters; I must, therefore, object to the proposed adjournment while things remain in this situation, and hope you will, in consideration of the danger to which your country stands exposed, continue sitting till you have granted the supplies to the crown, and effectually provided for the defence of the people you represent. But if you are determined to rise at this time without doing any thing, remember it is your own act, and all the fatal consequences that may attend