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or taken and garrisoned by the English. The colonists for this settlement might assemble near the heads of the rivers in Virginia, and march over land to the navigable branches of the Kenhawa, where they might embark with all their baggage and provisions, and fall into the Ohio, not far above the mouth of the Scioto. Or they might rendezvous at Will's Creek, and go down the Monongahela to the Ohio.

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The fort and armed vessels at the strait of Niagara would be a vast security to the frontiers of these new colonies against any attempts of the French from Canada. The fort at the mouth of the Wabash would guard that river, the Ohio, and the Cutava River, in case of any attempt from the French of the Mississippi. Every fort should have a small settlement round it, as the fort would protect the settlers, and the settlers defend the fort and supply it with provisions.

The difficulty of settling the first English colonies in America, at so great a distance from England, must have been vastly greater, than the settling these proposed new colonies; for it would be the interest and advantage of all the present colonies to support these new ones; as they would cover their frontiers, and prevent the growth of the French power behind or near their present settlements; and the new country is nearly at equal distance from all the old colonies, and could easily be assisted from all of them.

And as there are already in all the old colonies many thousands of families that are ready to swarm, wanting more land, the richness and natural advantage of the Ohio country would draw most of them thither, were there but a tolerable prospect of a safe settlement. So that the new colonies would soon be full of people; and, from the advantage of their situation, become much more terrible to the French set

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tlements, than those are now to us. The gaining of the back Indian trade from the French, by the navigation of the Lakes, &c., would of itself greatly weaken our enemies, it being now their principal support. It seems highly probable, that in time they must be subjected to the British crown, or driven out of the country.

Such settlements may better be made now, than fifty years hence; because it is easier to settle ourselves, and thereby prevent the French settling there, as they seem now to intend, than to remove them when strongly settled.

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If these settlements are postponed, then more forts and stronger, and more numerous and expensive garrisons must be established, to secure the country, prevent their settling, and secure our present frontiers; the charge of which may probably exceed the charge of the proposed settlements, and the advantage nothing near so great.

The fort at Oswego should likewise be strengthened, and some armed half-galleys, or other small vessels, kept there to cruise on Lake Ontario, as proposed by Mr. Pownall in his paper laid before the commissioners at the Albany treaty.

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If a fort was also built at Tirondequat on Lake Ontario, and a settlement made there near the lake side, where the lands are said to be good, much better than at Oswego; the people of such settlements would help to defend both forts on any emergency.

AN ACT

FOR THE BETTER ORDERING AND REGULATING SUCH AS ARE WILLING AND DESIROUS TO BE UNITED FOR MILITARY PURPOSES IN PENNSYLVANIA.

PASSED NOVEMBER 25TH, 1755.

The defeat of General Braddock at the battle of the Monongahela, on the 9th of July, 1755, had filled the people of Pennsylvania with alarm. The Assembly at its next session made a large grant in money for purposes of defence. The doctrine of nonresistance, which was a part of the creed of a large portion of the population, had hitherto prevented the establishment of any efficient militia system. To meet the present crisis, Franklin drew up the following act for embodying and disciplining a voluntary militia. It was carried through the House, he says, without much difficulty, because care had been taken to leave the Quakers at liberty. - EDITOR.

WHEREAS this province was first settled by (and a majority of the Assemblies have ever since been of) the people called Quakers, who, though they do not, as the world is now circumstanced, condemn the use of arms in others, yet are principled against bearing arms themselves; and to make any law to compel them thereto, against their consciences, would be not only to violate a fundamental in our constitution, and be a direct breach of our charter of privileges, but would also in effect be to commence persecution against all that part of the inhabitants of the province; and for them by any law to compel others to bear arms, and exempt themselves, would be inconsistent and partial ;

yet forasmuch as, by the general toleration and equity of our laws, great numbers of people of other religious denominations are come among us, who are under no such restraint, some of whom have been disciplined in the art of war, and conscientiously think it their duty to fight in defence of their country, their wives, their families, and estates, and such have an equal right to liberty of conscience with others; and whereas a great number of petitions from the several counties of this province have been presented to this House, setting forth, that the petitioners are very willing to defend themselves and their country, and desirous of being formed into regular bodies for that purpose, instructed and disciplined under proper officers, with suitable and legal authority; representing withal, that unless measures of this kind are taken, so as to unite them together, subject them to due command, and thereby give them confidence in each other, they cannot assemble to oppose the enemy, without the utmost danger of exposing themselves to confusion and destruction;

And whereas the voluntary assembling of great bodies of armed men from different parts of the province on any occasional alarm, whether true or false, as of late hath happened, without call or authority from the government, and without due order and direction among themselves, may be attended with danger to our neighbouring Indian friends and allies, as well as to the internal peace of the province;

And whereas the governor hath frequently recommended it to the Assembly, that, in preparing and passing a law for such purposes, they should have a due regard for scrupulous and tender consciences, which cannot be done where compulsive means are used to force men into military service; therefore, as

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represent all the people of the province, and are composed of members of different religious persuasions, we do not think it reasonable that any should, through a want of legal powers, be in the least restrained from doing what they judge it their duty to do for their own security and the public good; we, in compliance with the said petitions and recommendations, do offer it to the governor to be enacted, and be it enacted by the Honorable Robert Hunter Morris, with the King's royal approbation lieutenant-governor, under Thomas Penn and Richard Penn, true and absolute proprietors of the province of Pennsylvania, and of the counties of Newcastle, Kent, and Sussex, upon Delaware, by and with the advice and consent of the representatives of the freemen of the said province in General Assembly met, and by the authority of the same, that, from and after the publication of this act, it shall and may be lawful for the freemen of this province to form themselves into companies, as heretofore they have used in time of war without law, and for each company, by majority of votes in the way of ballot, to choose its own officers, to wit, a captain, lieutenant, and ensign, and present them to the governor or commander-in-chief for the time being for his approbation; which officers so chosen, if approved and commissioned by him, shall be the captain, lieutenant, and ensign of each company respectively, according to their commissions; and, the said companies being divided into regiments by the governor or commander-in-chief, it shall and may be lawful for the officers so chosen and commissioned for the several companies of each regiment to meet together, and by majority of votes, in the way of ballot, to choose a colonel, lieutenant-colonel, and major, for the regiment, and present them to the governor or

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