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territory, or three separate counties, it may be to inquire into their own powers, upon a design proper to inform him, that the forbearances of to set new measures on foot, and have sent home these gentlemen in that district, were altoge- an address by one of their members, Thomas ther as remarkable as their assumptions in the Coutts' brother, who is to negotiate the matter province; and to refer him to the following er- with the lords of trade and the ministry, to obtain tract of a genuine letter of Mr. secretary Lo- powers to some person or other, who the queen gan's to one Henry Goldney, an intimate may think fit (though Coutts designs it for himfriend of the first proprietary William Penn self) to discharge all the necessary duties of gofor a solution of all doubts concerning the dif-vernment over them. This I doubt will give the ference.
proprietary great trouble, for when the council of
frade is fully apprized, as by this means they will " Henry Goldney.
be, that those counties are entirely disjoined from
the province, it is probable they may more strictly “ PHILADELPHIA, 3d month the 12th, 1709.
| inquire into the proprietor's right of government "ESTEEMED Friend, I was favoured last fall and legislation with the people there : and it is with thine and other friends answer to mine of 3d much to be feared that they may advise the queen month last; the contents of which were extreme- to dispose of the government of those parts some ly satisfactory, and on my part I shall not be other way, which would be exceedingly destrucwanting to discharge my duty to the utmost of tive to the interest of the province in general. * * my power ; but in my opinion, since the proprie- “Upon the whole, what I have to propose is tor has several times mentioned that he had pro- this, whether it would not be most advisable for posals made to him for the purchase of a large the proprietor to consider in time what measures tract of land on Susquehannah, for which he had are most fit for him to take for his own and the an offer of 50001. sterling, it would be most advis-country's interest, before the blow falls so heavy able for him to accept of any such terms, that so that it may prove difficult, if at all practicable, for he may speedily have the management of his him to ward it off; whether, therefore, it may not country to himself, by paying the debt there be most prudent to part with the government of which he has contracted upon it; to which I both province and lower counties together, upon wish thee and his other good friends would ear- the best terms that can be obtained, before it nestly press him, for in himself I know he is in proves too late for him to procure any. If he should such cases somewhat too doubtful and backward. hold the government of the province, nay even of
" I now design, through the greatest contidence the whole, during his life, he will never gain any in thy friendship both to him and me, to be very thing by it; and, after his decease, it will be lost, free with thee in an affair that nearly concerns or at least be put out of the hands of friends, and him and this country in general, in which I shall perhaps without any previous terms at all, when request thee to exercise thy best thoughts, and, now he may be capable himself to negotiate a suraccording to the result of these heartily to employ render, both to his own particular interest, and the necessary endeavours: the case is briefly as greatly to the advantage of the profession; but follows:
whenever this is done, he should remember our " This government has consisted of two parts; present lieutenant-governor, who will be a suflerer the province of Pennsylvania, and the three lower (I fear at best) by undertaking the charge; and counties on Delaware. To the first the proprie- if any thing fall of course in the way, I wish he tor has a most clear and undoubted right, both for would not quite forget an old trusty servant of his. soil and government, by the king's letters patent who has been drudging for him these ten years or royal charter; for the latter be has much less (but that is not the business.) This I thought to show; for the soil he has deeds of feofment necessary to advise thee of, considering thee as from the duke of York, but for the government one of his best and heartiest friends, and desire not so much as is necessary. After his first ar- thee to communicate the matter to such others as rival, however, in these parts, he prevailed with may be most serviceable, but by no means expose the people both of the province and those counties this letter, for I would have that kept very private. to join in one government under him, according I have wrote to the same purpose to the proprietato the powers of the king's charter, which never- ry himself very fully, but finding, by long experitheless extended to the province only, and so they ence, how little it avails to write to himself alone continued, not without many fractions, till after of matters relating to his own interest. I the time of his last departure, when some disaf- choose this method, and give this early notice befected persons took advantage of a clause, which fore the addresses from hence shall come to hand, he had unhappily inserted in a charter he gave the which, with the addresses already gone from the people, and broke off entirely from those lower lower counties, will certainly do our business whecounties; since which time we have had two as-ther the proprietor will agree to it or not, and semblies, that of the province acting by a safe and therefore best take time while it offers. I shall indisputed power, but that of the other counties commit this to thy prudence and discretion, and without sufficient (I doubt) to justify them. Last conclude, thy real loving friend, .. fall the assembly of those counties took occasion
* JAMES LOGAN.”
HISTORICAL AND POLITICAL,
BEFORE THE REVOLUTION.
| vourite laws, powers, or points, that they Containing, I. Reasons and Motires on which the think could not at other times be obtained,
PLAN OF UNION FOR THE COLONIES was form- and so creating disputes and quarrels ; one ed; II. Reasons against partial Unions ; NI. assembly waiting to see what another will do, And the Plan of Union drawn by Benjamin being afraid of doing more than its sbare, or Franklin, and unanimously agreed to by the desirous of doing less, or refusing to do any Commissioners from New Hampshire, Massachusett's Bay, Rhode Island, Vew Jersey, Ma
thing, because its country is not at present so ryland, and Pennsylvania.* met in Congress m
much exposed as others, or because another • at Albany, in July 1754, to consider of the best will reap more immediate advantage; from
Means of defending the King's Dominions in one or other of which causes, the assemblies America, foc., a War being then apprehended ; of six (out of seven) colonies applied to, had with the Reasons or Motives for each Article of granted no assistance to Virginia, wben lately the Plan.
invaded by the French, though purposely con
vened, and the importance of the occasion earBenjamin Franklin, was one of the four
nestly urged upon them ; considering morecommissioners from Pennsylvania.
over, that one principal encouragement to the I. Reasons and Motives on which the Plan French, in invading and insulting the British of Union was formed.
American dominions, was their knowledge of
our disunited state, and of our weakness arisThe commissioners from a number of the
ing from such want of union; and that from northern colonies being met at Albany, and hence different colonies were, at different considering the difficulties that have always times, extremely harassed, and put to great attended the most necessary general measures expense both of blood and treasure, who for the common defence, or for the annoyance would have remained in peace, if the enemy of the enemy, when they were to be carried had had cause to fear the drawing on themthrough the several particular assemblies of selves the resentment and power of the whole; all the colonies; some assemblies being be the said commissioners, considering also the fore at variance with their governors or coun- present encroachments of the French, and the cils, and the several branches of the govern mischievous consequences that may be exment not on terms of doing business with each pected from them, if not opposed with our other; others taking the opportunity, when force, came to an unaniinous resolution, their concurrence is wanted, to push for fa That an union of the colonies is absolutely
necessary for their preservation. * This plan was intended for all the colonies. Some! The manner of forming and establishing of the commissioners not attending, their consent to it was not universally expressed. Governor Pownall says, "He had an opportunity of conversing with, and knowing the sentiments of the commissioners appointed by their respective provinces, to attend this congress,
in equal danger at the same time, or equally to which they were called by the crown; of learning from their experience and judgment, the actual state of that some of them had particular interests to the American business and interest; and of hearing amongst them, the grounds and reasons of that Ameri. can union, which they then had under deliberation, and transmitted the plan of to England;" and he adds,
le of each other; it was thought impracticable in another place," that the sentiments of our colonies were collected in an authentic manner on this subject in the plan proposed by Dr. Franklin, and unanimously
to an union, in which the expense and burden agreed to in congress." See governor Pownall's Administration of the British Colonies. Vol. i. p. 13. Edit. 4. 1774, and vol. ii. 86.
among them all; and if ever acts of assembly Mr. (since governor Hutchinson was one of the commissioners for Massachusetts' Bay." Thomas
Jin all the colonies could be obtained for that Pownal!, Esq. brother to John Pownall, Esq. one of the purpose, yet as any colony, on the least dis. secretaries to the board of trade, and afterwards govern. satisfaction, might repeal its own act and or of Massachusetts, was upon the spot." History of the British Empire in North America, p. 25.
thereby withdraw itself from the union, it would not be a stable one, or such as could be 4. The Indian trade would be better regudepended on: for if only one colony should, on lated by the union of the whole than by the any disgust withdraw itself, others might think partial unions. And as Canada is chiefly supit unjust and unequal that they, by continuing ported by that trade, if it could be drawn into in the union, should be at the expense of de- the hands of the English (as it might be if fending a colony, which refused to bear its pro- the Indians were supplied on moderate terms, portionable part, and would therefore one after and by honest traders appointed by and acting another, withdraw, till the whole crumbled for the public) that alone would contribute into its original parts. Therefore the commis- greatly to the weakening of our enemies. sioners came to another previous resolution, 5. The establishing of new colonies westviz. That it was necessary the union should ward on the Ohio and the lakes (a matter of be established by act of parliament.
considerable importance to the increase of They then proceeded to sketch out a plan British trade and power, to the breaking that of union, which they did in a plain and con- of the French, and to the protection and secucise manner, just sufficient to show their sen- rity of our present colonies,) would best be timents of the kind of union that would best carried on by a joint union. suit the circumstances of the colonies, be 6. It was also thought, that by the frequent most agreeable to the people, and most ef meetings together of commissioners or reprefectually promote his majesty's service, and sentatives from all the colonies, the circumthe general interest of the British empire. stances of the whole would be better known, This was respectfully sent to the assemblies and the good of the whole better provided for ; of the several colonies for their consideration, and that the colonies would by this connexion and to receive such alterations and improve- learn to consider themselves, not as so many ments as they should think fit and necessary; independent states, but as members of the after which it was proposed to be transmitted same body; and thence be more ready to afto England to be perfected, and the establish- ford assistance and support to each other, and ment of it there humbly solicited.
to make diversions in favour even of the most This was as much as the commissioners distant, and to join cordially in any expedition could do. *
for the benefit of all against the common
enemy. II. Reasons against partial Unions. These were the principal reasons and moIt was proposed by some of the commis- tives for forming the plan of union as it stands. sioners, to forin the colonies into two or three | To which may be added this, that as the union distinct unions; but for these reasons that of the proposal was dropped even by those that made The remainder of this article was lost. it: viz. .
III. Plan of a proposed Union of the several 1. In all cases where the strength of the
Colonies of Massachusett's Bay, New whole was necessary to be used against the
Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, enemy, there would be the same difficulty in
New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, degree, to bring the several unions to unite
Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and together, as now the several colonies; and
South Carolina, for their mutual Defence consequently the same delays on our part and
and Security, and for ertending the Briadvantage to the enemy. .
tish Settlements in North America, with 2. Each union would separately be weaker
the Reasons and Motives for each. Article than when joined by the whole, obliged to
of the Plan- [as far as could be rememexert more force, be oppressed by the ex
bered.] pense, and the enemy less deterred from attacking it.
It is proposed–That humble application be 3. Where particular colonies have selfish
made for an act of parliament of Great Britain, views, as New York with regard to Indian
by virtue of which one general government trade and lands; or are less exposed, being
may be formed in America, including all the covered by others, as New Jersey, Rhode Is
said colonies, within and under which governland, Connecticut, Maryland; or have parti
ment each colony may retain its present concular whims and prejudices against warlike i
stitution, except in the particulars wherein a
change may be directed by the said act, as measures in general, as Pennsylvania, where the quakers predominate; such colonies
hereafter follows.* would have more weight in a partial union, and be better able to oppose and obstruct the PRESIDENT-GENERAL, AND GRAND COUNCIL measures necessary for the general good, than That the said general government be adwhere they are swallowed up in the general ministered by a president-general, to be apunion.
pointed and supported by the crown; anc Dr Davenant was so well convinced of the expedi. 1 * The reader may perceive, by the difference of the ency of an nion of the colonies that he recites, at full Italic and Roman type, which is the text of the plan, length, a plan contrived, as he says, with good judg. | and which the reasons and motires inentioned in the ment for the purpose. Davenant, Vol. I. p. 40, 41 of 1 title. They are thus printed for perspicuity and for con sir C. Whitworth's edition.
venience. VOL. II. ...Z
a grand council, to be chosen by the repre- satisfaction, and that the colonies could not be sentatives of the people of the several colonies easy under such a power in governors, and met in their respective assemblies.
such an infringement of what they take to be It was thought that it would be best the pre- English liberty. sident-general should be supported as well as “Besides, the giving a share in the choice appointed by the crown; that so all disputes of the grand council would not be equal with between him and the grand council concern- respect to all the colonies as their constituing his salary might be prevented; as such tions differ. In some, both governor and disputes have been frequently of mischievous council are appointed by the crown. In consequence in particular colonies, especially others, they are both appointed by the proin time of public danger. The quit-rents of prietors. In some, the people have a share in crown-lands in America might in a short time the choice of the council; in others, both gobe sufficient for this purpose.—The choice of vernment and council are wholly chosen by members for the grand council is placed in the the people. But the house of representatives house of representatives of each government, is every where chosen by the people; and in order to give the people a share in this new therefore, placing the right of choosing the general government, as the crown has its grand council in the representatives is equal share by the appointment of the president-ge- with respect to all. neral.
“That the grand council is intended to reBut it being proposed by the gentlemen of present all the several houses of representathe council of New York, and some other tives of the colonies, as a house of representcounsellors among the commissioners, to alter atives doth the several towns or counties of a the plan in this particular, and to give the colony. Could all the people of a colony be governors and council of the several provinces consulted and unite in public measures, a a share in the choice of the grand council, or house of representatives would be needless, at least a power of approving and confirming, and could all the assemblies conveniently conor of disallowing the choice made by the sult and unite in general measures, the grand house of representatives, it was said : council would be unnecessary.
“ That the government or constitution pro- “ That a house of commons or the house of posed to be formed by the plan, consists of representatives, and the grand council, are two branches; a president-general appointed thus alike in their nature and intention. And by the crown, and a council chosen by the as it would seem improper that the king or people, or by the people's representatives, house of lords should have a power of disalwhich is the same thing.
lowing or appointing members of the house of " That by a subsequent article, the council commons;-80 likewise, that a governor and chosen by the people can effect nothing with council appointed by the crown should have a out the consent of the president-general ap- power of disallowing or appointing members pointed by the crown; the crown possesses of the grand council (who, in this constitutherefore full one half of the power of this tion, are to be the representatives of the peoconstitution.
ple.) “ That in the British constitution, the crown “If the governors and councils therefore is supposed to possess but one third, the lords were to have a share in the choice of any that having their share.
are to conduct this general government, it “ That this constitution seemed rather more should seem more proper that they choose the favourable for the crown.
president-general. But this being an office of “ That it is essential to English liberty, great trust and importance to the nation, it that the subject should not be taxed but by his was thought better to be filled by the imme. own consent, or the consent of his elected re- diate appointment of the crown. presentatives.
“The power proposed to be given by the “ That taxes to be laid and levied by this plan to the grand council is only a concentraproposed constitution will be proposed and tion of the powers of the several assemblies in agreed to by the representatives of the peo- certain points for the general welfare; as the ple, if the plan in this particular be preserved : power of the president-general, is of the pow
" But if the proposed alteration should take ers of the several governors in the same place, it seemed as if matters may be so ma- points. naged, as that the crown shall finally have the " And as the choice therefore of the grand appointment not only of the president-general, council, by the representatives of the people, but of a majority of the grand council; for neither gives the people any new powers, nor seven out of eleven governors and councils are diminishes the power of the crown, it was appointed by the crown:
thought and hoped the crown would not dis* And so the people in all the colonies would approve of it." in effect be taxed by their governors.
Upon the whole, the commissioners were " It was therefore apprehended, that such of opinion, that the choice was most properly alterations of the plan would give great dis- placed in the representatives of the people.
ELECTION OF MEMBERS.
ton to Philadelphia and New York; and from That within months after the passing Rhode Island to New York through the sound, such act, the house of representatives, that in two or three days; and from New York to happen to be sitting within that time, or that Philadelphia, by water and land, in two days, shall be especially for that purpose convened, by stage boats and wheel carriages that set may and shall choose members for the grand out every other day. The journey from council, in the following proportion, that is Charleston to Philadelphia may likewise be to say,
facilitated by boats running up Chesapeake bay Massachusett's Bay, - - 7
three hundred miles. But if the whole jourNew Hampshire, ..
ney be performed on horseback, the most disConnecticut, . . . - 5
tant members (viz. the two from New HampRhode Island, ..
shire and from South Carolina) may probably New York, ..
render themselves at Philadelphia in fifteen New Jersey, ..
or twenty days; the majority may be there in Pennsylvania, .
much less time.
That there shall be a new election of the
members of the grand council every Three years; and on the death or resignation of
any member, his place should be supplied by It was thought, that if the least colony was
a new choice at the next sitting of the asallowed two, and the others in proportion, the
sembly of the colony he represented. number would be very great, and the expense
Some colonies have annual assemblies, some heary; and that less than two would not be con
on continue during a governor's pleasure; three venient, as a single person, being by any ac
years was thought a reasonable medium, as cident prevented appearing at the meeting, affording a new member time to improve himthe colony he ought to appear for would not self in the
for would not self in the business, and to act after such imbe represented. That as the choice was not
provement; and yet giving opportunities, freimmediately popular, they would be generally |
quently enough, to change him, if he has mismen of good abilities for business, and men of hohoved reputation for integrity; and that forty-eight such men might be a number sufficient. But, though it was thought reasonable, that each PROPORTION OF MEMBERS AFTER THE FIRST coiony should have a share in the represent
THREE YEARS. ative body in some degree, according to the That after the first three years, when the proportion it contributed to the general trea- proportion of money arising out of each colosnry: yet the proportion of wealth or power ny to the general treasury can be known, the of the colonies is not to be judged by the pro- number)of members to be chosen for each coportion here fixed; because it was at first lony shali from time to time, in all ensuing agreed, that the greatest colony should not elections, be regulated by that proportion (yet have more than seven members, nor the least so as that the number to be chosen by any less than two: and the setting these propor
one province be not more than seven, nor tions between these two exiremes was not
less than two.) nicely attended to, as it would find itself, after
By a subsequent article it is proposed, that the first election from the sums brought into the general council shall lay and levy such the treasury, as by a subsequent article.
general duties, as to them may appear most
equal and least burdensome, &c. Suppose, PLACE OF FIRST MEETING.
for instance, they lay a small duty or excise --who shall meet for the first time at the on some commodity imported into or made in city of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, being the colonies, and pretty generally and equally called by the president-general as soon as used in all of them; as rum perhaps, or wine : conveniently may be after his appointment. the yearly produce of this duty or excise, if
Philadelphia was named as being the nearer fairly collected, would be in some colonies the centre of the colonies, where the commis- greater, in others less, as the colonies are bioners would be well and cheaply accommo- greater or smaller. When the collector's acdated. The high-roads, through the whole counts are brought in, the proportions will extent, are for the most part very good, in appear; and from them its proposed to reguwhich forty or fifty miles a day may very late the proportion of representatives to be well be and frequently are travelled. Great chosen at the next general election, within the part of the way may likewise be gone by limits however of seven and two. These water. In summer time, the passages are numbers may therefore vary in course of frequently performed in a week from Charles- years, as the colonies may in the growth and