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execution seems so roundabout, I am afraid we cannot have the benefit of it in any reasonable time.

X. I cannot see much in that objection. The several neighbourhoods out of which companies are formed, may meet and choose their company officers in one and the same day; and the regiments may be formed, and field-officers chosen, in a week or ten days after, who may immediately proceed to consider the several militia laws of Britain and the colonies, and, with the governor, form out of them such articles, as will appear most suitable for the freemen of this province, who incline to bear arms voluntarily; and the whole may be in order in a month from the first elections, if common diligence be used. And, indeed, as the colonies are at present the prize contended for between Britain and France, and the latter, by the last advices, seems to be meditating some grand blow, part of which may probably fall on Pennsylvania, either by land or sea, or both, it behoves us, I think, to make the best use we can of this act, and carry it immediately into execution, both in town and country. If there are any material defects in it, experience will best discover them, and show what is proper or necessary to amend them. The approaching winter will afford us some time to arm and prepare, and more leisure, than other seasons, for exercising and improving in good discipline.

Z. But if this act should be carried into execution, prove a good one, and answer the end, what shall we have to say against the Quakers at the next election ?

X. O my friends, let us on this occasion cast from us all these little party views, and consider ourselves as Englishmen and Pennsylvanians. Let us think only of the service of our King, the honor and safety of our country, and vengeance on its murdering enemies.

If good be done, what imports it by whom it is done? The glory of serving and saving others is superior to the advantage of being served or secured. Let us resolutely and generously unite in our country's cause, in which to die is the sweetest of all deaths, and may the God of armies bless our honest endeavours.




The English colonial governments were of three sorts. First, Provincial governments; where the constitution originally depends on the King's commission and instructions, given to his governors; and the Assemblies, held under that authority, have their share in making local ordinances not repugnant to English law. Next, Proprietary governments; where a district of country is given by the crown to individuals, attended with certain legislative powers in the nature of a fief; with a provision for the sovereignty at home, and also for the fulfilment of the terms and end of the grant. Lastly, Charter governments, where the fundamentals of the gov ernment are previously prescribed and made known to the settlers, being in no degree left subject to a governor's commission or proprietor's will. (See Blackstone, Vol. I. Introd. § 4.) Good faith, however, to mankind seemed to require, that the constitutions, once begun under the provincial or proprietary governments, should remain unaltered (except for improvement) to the respective settlers; equally as in charter governments.

By the last paragraph of the following Report, it seems that the Assembly established in Pennsylvania intended to send commissioners to England to solicit redress of various grievances, particularly respecting their Proprietors' conduct; and that, the business being referred to a committee of the Assembly, the following VOL. III. 7

report was meant to convey the opinion of that committee concerning the instructions necessary to be given by the Assembly to the commissioners. — B. V.

IN obedience to the order of the House, we have drawn up the heads of the most important aggrievances that occur to us, which the people of this province with great difficulty labor under; the many infractions of the constitution, (in manifest violation of the royal grant, the proprietary charter, the laws of this province, and of the laws, usages, and customs of our mother country,) and other matters, which we apprehend call aloud for redress.

They are as follow;

First. By the royal charter, (which has ever been, ought to be, and truly is, the principal and invariable fundamental of this constitution,) King Charles the Second did give and grant unto William Penn, his heirs and assigns, the province of Pennsylvania; and also to him and his heirs, and his or their deputies or lieutenants, free, full, and absolute power for the good and happy government thereof, to make and enact any laws, "according to their best discretion, by and with the advice, assent, and approbation of the freemen of the said country, or of their delegates or deputies; for the raising of money, or any other end appertaining to the public state, peace, or safety of the said country. By the words of this grant, it is evident that full powers are granted to the deputies and lieutenants of William Penn and his heirs, to concur with the people in framing laws for their protection and the safety of the province, according to their best discretion; independent of any instructions or directions they should receive from their principals. And it is equally obvious


to your committee, that the people of this province and their representatives were interested in this royal grant; and by virtue thereof have an original right of legislation inherent in them, which neither the proprietors nor any other person whatsoever can divest them of, restrain, or abridge, without manifestly violating and destroying the letter, spirit, and design of this grant.

Nevertheless we unfortunately find, that the proprietaries of this province, regardless of this sacred fundamental of all our rights and liberties, have so abridged and restricted their late and present governor's discretion in matters of legislation, by their illegal, impracticable, and unconstitutional instructions and prohibitions, that no bill for granting aids and supplies to our most gracious Sovereign, (be it ever so reasonable, expedient, and necessary for the defence of this his Majesty's colony, and safety of his people,) unless it be agreeable thereto, can meet with his approbation; by means whereof the many considerable sums of money, which have been offered for those purposes by the Assemblies of this province (ever anxious to maintain his honor and rights), have been rejected; to the great encouragement of his Majesty's enemies, and the imminent danger of the loss of this his colony.

condly. The representatives of the people in General Assembly met, by virtue of the said royal grant, and the charter of privileges granted by the said William Penn, and a law of this province, have right to, and ought to enjoy, all the powers and privileges of an Assembly, according to the rights of the free-born subjects of England, and as is usual in any of the plantations in America. It is an indubitable and now an uncontested right of the Commons of England to grant aids and supplies to his Majesty in any manner they think most easy to themselves and the people; and

they are the sole judges of the measure, manner, and time of granting and raising the same.

Nevertheless the proprietaries of this province, in contempt of the said royal grant, proprietary charter, and law of their colony; designing to subvert the fundamentals of this constitution, to deprive the Assembly and people of their rights and privileges, and to assume an arbitrary and tyrannical power over the liberties and properties of his Majesty's liege subjects; have so restrained their governors by the despotic instructions, (which are not to be varied from, and are particularly directory in the framing and passing of money bills and supplies to his Majesty, as to the mode, measure, and time,) that it is impossible for the Assembly, should they lose all sense of their most essential rights, and comply with those instructions, to grant sufficient aids for the defence of this his Majesty's province from the common enemy.

Thirdly. In pursuance of sundry acts of General Assembly, approved of by the crown, and a natural right inherent in every man antecedent to all laws, the Assemblies of this province have had the power of disposing of the public moneys, that have been raised for the encouragement of trade and support support of government by the interest money arising by the loans of the bills of credit and the excise. No part of these moneys was ever paid by the proprietaries, or ever raised on their estates; and therefore they can have no pretence of right to a voice in the disposition of them. They have ever been applied with prudent frugality to the honor and advantage of the public and the King's immedi-. ate service, to the general approbation of the people; the credit of the government has been preserved, and the debts of the public punctually discharged. In short, no inconveniences, but great and many advantages

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