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and determined to punish * this once-favored land, , had suffered our chiefs to engage in these foolish and mischievous contentions for little posts and paltry distinctions, that our hands might be bound up, our understandings darkened and misled, and every means of our security neglected. It seems as if our greatest men, our cives nobilissimit of both parties, had sworn the ruin of the country, and invited the French, our most inveterate enemy, to destroy it. Where then shall we seek for succour and protection ? The government we are immediately under denies it to us; and if the enemy comes, we are far from Zidon, and there is no deliverer near. Our case is dangerously bad; but perhaps there is yet a remedy, if we have but the prudence and the spirit to apply it.
If this new, flourishing city, and greatly improving colony, is destroyed and ruined, it will not be for want of numbers of inhabitants able to bear arms in its defence. It its computed, that we have at least (exclusive of the Quakers) sixty thousand fighting men, acquainted with firearms, many of them hunters and marksmen, hardy and bold. All we want is order, discipline, and a few cannon. At present we are like the separate filaments of flax before the thread is formed, without strength, because without connexion ; but UNION would make us strong, and even formidable, though the great should neither help nor join us;
* When God determined to punish his chosen people, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who, though breakers of his other laws, were scrupulous observers of that one, which required keeping holy the Sabbath-day, he suffered even the strict observation of that command to be their ruin; for Pompey, observing that they then obstinately refused to fight, made a general assault on that day, took the town, and butchered them with as little mercy as he found resistance. — JOSEPHUS.
+ Conjuravere cives nobilissimi patriam incendere ; GALLORUM GENTEN, infestissimam nomini Romano, ad bellum arcessunt. — Cato, in Sallust
though they should even oppose our uniting, from some mean views of their own, yet, if we resolve upon it, and it pleases God to inspire us with the necessary prudence and vigor, it may be effected. Great numbers of our people are of British race; and, though the fierce fighting animals of those happy Islands are said to abate their native fire and intrepidity, when removed to a foreign clime, yet with the people it is not so; our neighbours of New England afford the world a convincing proof, that Britons, though a hundred years transplanted, and to the remotest part of the earth, may yet retain, even to the third and fourth descent, that zeal for the public good, that military prowess, and that undaunted spirit, which has in every age distinguished their nation. What numbers have we likewise of those brave people, whose fathers in the last age made so glorious a stand for our religion and liberties, when invaded by a powerful French army, joined by Irish Catholics, under a bigoted Popish king! Let the memorable siege of Londonderry, and the signal actions of the Iniskillingers, by which the heart of that prince's schemes was broken, be perpetual testimonies of the courage and conduct of those noble warriors ! Nor are there wanting amongst us thousands of that warlike nation, whose sons have ever since the time of Cæsar maintained the character he gave their fathers, of joining the most obstinate courage to all the other military virtues; I mean the brave and steady Germans. Numbers of whom have actually borne arms in the service of their respective Princes; and, if they fought well for their tyrants and oppressors, would they refuse to unite with us in defence of their newly acquired and most precious liberty and property ? Were this union formed, were we once united, thoroughly armed and disciplined, was every thing in our power done for our security, as far as human means and foresight could provide, we might then, with more propriety, humbly ask the assistance of Heaven, and a blessing on our lawful endeavours. The very fame of our strength and readiness would be a means of discouraging our enemies; for it is a wise and true saying, that one sword often keeps another in the scabbard.
The way to secure peace is to be prepared for war. They, that are on their guard, and appear ready to receive their adversaries, are in much less danger of being attacked, than the supine, secure, and negligent. We have yet a winter before us, which may afford a good and almost sufficient opportunity for this, if we seize and improve it with a becoming vigor. And if the hints contained in this paper are so happy as to meet with a suitable disposition of mind in his countrymen and fellow-citizens, the writer of it will, in a few days, lay before them a form of ASSOCIATION for the purposes herein mentioned, together with a practicable scheme for raising the money necessary for the defence of our trade, city, and country, without laying a burthen on any man.
May the God of wisdom, strength, and power, the Lord of the armies of Israel, inspire us with prudence in this time of danger, take away from us all the seeds of contention and division, and unite the hearts and counsels of all of us, of whatever sect or nation, in one bond of peace, brotherly love, and generous public spirit; may he give us strength and resolution to amend our lives, and remove from among us every thing that is displeasing to him ; afford us his most gracious protection, confound the designs of our ene.
mies, and give peace in all our borders, is the sincere
A TRADESMAN OF PHILADELPHIA.*
At the end of the second edition is added the following communication, purporting to be an extract from the Pennsylvania Gazette, for November 19th, 1747.
“MR. FRANKLIN, For the entertainment of your readers unskilled in the Latin tongue, I send you a translation of the sentences prefixed to the pamphlet called PLAIN Truth, lately published. I cannot say the translation is strictly verbal, nor do I pretend to have reached the masterly force and beauty of the original. To transfuse the spirit of the noble Roman patriot into our language, requires a much abler pen. If I have given you his general sense and meaning, it will fully answer my design and expectation. Be pleased to let it have a place in your next, and you will much oblige
“TRANSLATION. “ Should the city be taken, all will be lost to the conquered. Therefore, if you desire to preserve your buildings, houses, and country-seats, your statues, paintings, and all your other possessions, which you so highly esteem; if you wish to continue in the enjoyment of them, or to have leisure for any future pleasures, I beseech you by the immortal Gods, rouse at last, awake from your lethargy, and save the commonwealth. It is not the trifling concern of injuries from your allies that demands your attention ; your liberties, lives, and fortunes, with every thing that is interesting and dear to you, are in the most imminent danger. Can you doubt of or delay what you ought to do, now, when the enemy's swords are unsheathed, and descending on your heads ? The affair is shocking and horrid ! Yet, perhaps, you are not afraid. Yes, you are terrified to the highest degree. But through indolence and supineness of soul, gazing at each other, to see who shall first rise to your succour; and a presumptuous dependence on the immortal Gods, who indeed have preserved this republic in many dangerous seasons; you delay and neglect every thing necessary for your preservation. Be not deceived; Divine assistance and protection are not to be obtained by timorous prayers, and womanish supplications. To succeed, you must join salutary counsels, vigilance, and courageous actions. If you sink into effeminacy and cowardice; if you desert the tender and helpless, by Providence committed to your charge, never presume to implore the Gods ; it will provoke them, and raise their indignation against you."
RELATING TO A PLAN OF UNION OF THE COLONIES,
ADOPTED BY COMMISSIONERS ASSEMBLED AT ALBANY
IN JULY, 1754.
The prospect of a French war, and the hostile attitude already assumed by tribes of Indians on the frontiers, induced the British government to seek for the means of providing for a timely and efficient resistance in the colonies. With a view to this end, an order was sent over by the Lords of Trade, directing that commissioners should be appointed in several of the provinces to assemble at Albany. The immediate object was to conciliate the Six Nations, by giving them presents, and renewing a treaty, by which they should be prevented from going over to the French, or being drawn away by the Indians under their influence.
The day appointed for the assembling of the commissioners was the 14th of June, 1754, at Albany, but they did not meet till the 19th ; when it was found that the following colonies were represented, namely, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. The whole number appointed was twenty-five, who all attended. Franklin was one of the delegates from ennsylvania. Several days were spent in holding interviews with the Indians, hearing and making speeches, and distributing the presents, which had been provided at the expense of the different colonies, to such amounts as were authorized by a previous vote of their respective Assemblies. The chief speaker for the Indians was the Mohawk Sachem, Hendrick, renowned for the boldness and force of his eloquence. In one of his speeches to the convention, in reply to a hint that the Six Nations did not increase their power at the expense of their enemies, he said; “It is your fault, Brethren, that we are not strengthened by conquest. We would have gone and taken Crown