Abbildungen der Seite

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.

[blocks in formation]











Those, who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

First Published in London, 1759.

The controversies, which existed for many years between the Proprietary Governors and the Assemblies of Pennsylvania, are not without interest as an important branch of the general history of the country, and as showing the determined spirit of the people in their struggles for liberty. The following treatise relates to that subject. As a member of the Assembly for several years, and one of the leaders, Franklin had taken a conspicuous part against the Proprietaries; and, when it was at last resolved by the popular party to apply to the King in Council for a redress of their grievances, he was appointed their agent to manage the affair. He went to England for that purpose in the summer of 1757. To aid the object of his mission, to counteract the powerful efforts made against

the petition by the friends of the Proprietaries, and to remove the prejudices then existing in England unfavorable to the people of Pennsylvania, he caused the "Historical Review" to be published in London. It produced a strong impression, and called forth elaborate answers. It was the subject of a commendatory article in the Monthly Review for July, 1759. In his remarks upon it the writer says; "It must be confessed that the Pennsylvanians have, in our author, a most zealous and able advocate. His sentiments are manly, liberal, and spirited; his style close, nervous, and rhetorical. His Introduction is well calculated to warm his readers in behalf of liberty, of which he boasts his clients to have been the brave assertors. By a forcible display of the oppressions they have sustained, he inclines us to pity their condition; by an enumeration of their virtues, he endeavours to remove the idea, which many have conceived of their unimportance."

In the Critical Review, for August of the same year, the book fell into the hands of the opposite party; and, although it is treated with respect, yet it is censured for the tone it assumes in regard to the demands of the Pennsylvanians. "Nay," says the reviewer, "our author seems to carry his notions of liberty and independence so high, as to admit of no check or control from the government of his mother country."

As the work appeared at first anonymously, and the authorship was kept secret, it was for a long time supposed to have been written by Franklin. His grandson, who ought to have known the truth of what he affirmed, says, in the Memoirs he published, that Franklin was the author. The Monthly Review, for 1790, asserts the same, with a confidence that seems to imply positive knowledge. The following quotation is taken from an article on the Bibliotheca Americana. "The compiler, noticing the HISTORICAL REVIEW, cautiously adds, said to be written by Dr. Franklin.' We add, certainly was written by that great man." The testimony of Dr. Franklin himself was also supposed to favor this opinion. In the part of the Memoirs left by him, and published after his death, where he speaks of a conversation with Governor Denny, and of the Governor's instructions, he says; "On this head he did not explain himself; but, when he afterwards came to do business with the Assembly, the disputes were renewed, and I was as active as ever in the opposition, being the penman, first of the request to have a communication of the instructions, and then of the remarks on them, which may be found in the Votes of the times, and in the HISTORICAL REVIEW I afterwards published." It has recently been ascertained, however, that he was not in fact the author,

« ZurückWeiter »