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the information he had received from the eastward, as his Majesty's service required.

But this not proving satisfactory to the House, all proceedings on this head were for some days at a stand; and the interval was filled with a continuation of the animated controversy, which in the preceding session had so highly exasperated the two branches of the legislature against each other, and which never had been either revived, or caused, if the governor and his employers had not preferred their own private views to all the moral and equitable obligations of government.


The old Controversy renewed. A new one concerning the Roads

opened at the Expense of the Province for the Convenience of the King's Forces. As a last Effort for the Public Service, the Assembly authorize hy Vote a Loan or voluntary Subscription of Ten Thousand Pounds. A Brief State of the Province at this Period. The new Assembly, after a Session of four Days, suffered to adjourn themselves without proceeding to Business, for want of having the Intelligence then in the Governor's Hands in due Form imparted to them.

When the assembly had sat nine days, and now remained in a sort of suspense, not choosing to inflame on one hand, and willing to hope the governor would find reasons to abate of his unreasonable stiffness on the other; came down a long message by way of answer to the assembly's paper of August 19th ; and, sufficiently exasperated thereby, that body, now at the point of dissolution, resolved to acquit themselves with as much spirit as if they had been immortal.

To the Appendix the reader must be again referred for both pieces; they cannot, they ought not to be suppressed; they are too long to be here inserted entire, and to abridge them, at least that of the assembly, would be to maim one of the most lively pieces that liberty ever inspired or controversy produced.*

Such a reference, then, to the subject matter of both as will just serve to keep up a sort of historical connexion, is all the use to be made of them in this place.

The assembly had (very truly) charged the governor with contriving all possible methods of expense to exhaust their funds and distress their affairs; and had



* See above, page 383.

given in proof the exorbitant demand made upon them for cutting the road for the use of the army; an enterprise which they tell him they had undertaken at his instance, on a computation of its costing only eight hundred pounds. The governor, in his reply, said such a sum might have been mentioned as what it would cost in some men's private opinion; but not upon an estimate of the commissioners, nor what had been as such sent to him. Adding, “ that, though they had numbered the making the road among their meritorious acts, they had in effect done it out of fear of having proper representations made of their conduct at home, and of an armed force being used to oblige the inhabitants to do this necessary work; that he had persuaded the general to compound for one road instead of two, to contract even that to two-thirds of the breadth, and not to carry it so far by many miles as directed by the quartermaster-general ; by which great savings were made to the province, and thanks instead of complaints were due to him, and rewards to the commissioners who had served the province in so hazardous a task so well; that he had never made such a demand as five thousand pounds, nor could it have been made by anyone, because the accounts were not come in ; and that, now they were come in, the charge did not amount to three thousand pounds, which was not extravagant, considering the distance and expedition required in the work.”

The assembly, in their answer, could not be so full in their own justification, and, consequently, in refuting the governor, as they might have been, because the necessary documents happened at that time to be mislaid. But, when those documents were recovered, they did themselves ample justice, by reprinting the most material in an appendix to their minutes.

And among them was a letter from the said commissioners to the governor, which was communicated, together with one of the governor's own, (to the committee of assembly, at that extraordinary crisis, appointed to act on behalf of the whole, and other members then called in to their assistance,) by his secretary ; in which was the following express clause ; “The expense of making the road thirty feet wide, and the principal pinches twenty, will make an expense of about eight hundred pounds." This letter was dated April 16th; and the committee having, in the name of the House, undertaken to defray the expense of both roads, the work went on accordingly. In another letter from the same commissioners, dated May 3d, it is said, “Both roads will leave little of fifteen hundred pounds, for it is impossible to tell what unexpected occurrences will arise,” &c. The House, now sitting, resolved to persevere notwithstanding, and notwithstanding the loss of their bill, which made their compliance more difficult. Another estimate, dated fifteen days after this, signified, “ that the expense of opening both roads would be little under two thousand pounds.” Thus three estimates had been delivered in, each exceeding the other; and after all this, when one road had been dropped, and the other reduced in the manner alleged by the governor, the said commissioners did actually require five thousand pounds to be sent to them, in addition to what had been paid to them already, which in money and provisions was supposed to be near one thousand pounds. The committee of accounts had sat upon this requisition, had pronounced it to be extravagant, and had given it as their opinion, August 8th, 1755, “ that in order to prevent imposition on the public, the said commissioners ought forthwith to attend the said committee with

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their accounts fairly stated, with proper vouchers for the same." From all which premises, the House had surely reason to ask as they did, “ whether they had not good reason to be surprised at this, and to suspect some extravagance in the management.” But they went farther still; they cited the original letter from the governor's six commissioners to him, and by him communicated to the House, August 9th, in which the five thousand pounds is specified, together with an intimation, that, the people being much in want of money, the money could not be sent too soon. And they conclude this section with the following shrewd remark; “The governor's judgment of our motives to engage in this work of opening the roads seems to us a very uncharitable one, but we hope to find more equitable judgment elsewhere. We are obliged to him, however, for owning that we did engage in it at all. For as he is pleased to lay it down as a maxim, that we are very wicked people ; he has shown in other instances, when we have done any good, that he thinks it no more injustice to us to deny the facts, than now to deny the goodness of our motives. He would, however, think himself ill used, if any part of his zeal in that affair was ascribed to his menaces directed to him ; or to a view of accommodating by the new road the lands of the proprietaries' new purchase, and by that means increasing the value of their estate at our expense.

Again ; the governor was pleased to express himself in these extraordinary terms; “ You have often

6 mentioned what you have done to promote the success of his Majesty's arms under General Braddock, and for the defence of the province, and say, you have letters from the late general, thanking you for your service; the truth of this I must beg leave to question,

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