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increase of people. And thus the quota of tax dent-general, if not provided against : and the from each colony would naturally vary with inconvenience and hardship would be greater its circumstances; thereby preventing all in the general government than in particular disputes and dissatisfaction about the just pro- colonies, in proportion to the distance the portions due from each ; which might other members must be from home, during sittings, wise produce pernicious consequences, and and the long journies some of them must nedestroy the harmony and good agreement that cessarily take. ought to subsist between the several parts of the union.
That the members of the grand council MEETINGS OF THE GRAND COUNCIL, AND CALL. shall be allowed for their service ten shil
That the grand council shall meet once in lings sterling per diem, during their session every year, and oftener if occasion require, at and journey to and from the place of meetsuch time and place as they shall adjourn to ing ; twenly miles to be reckoned a day's at the last preceding meeting, or as they shall journey. be called to meet at by the president-general It was thought proper to allow some wages, on any emergency; he having first obtain- | lest the expense might deter some suitable ed in writing the consent of seven of the persons from the service ;—and not to allow members to such call, und sent due and time too great wages, lest unsuitable persons ly notice to the whole.
should be tempted to cabal for the employment, It was thought, in establishing and govern- for the sake of gain. Twenty miles was set ing new colonies or settlements, regulating down as a day's journey, to allow for acciIndian trade, Indian treaties, &c. there would dental hindrances on the road, and the greatbe every year sufficient business arise to re-er expenses of travelling than residing at the quire at least one meeting, and at such meet- place of meeting. ing many things might be suggested for the benefit of all the colonies. This annual meet- ASSENT OF PRESIDENT-GENERAL AND HIS DUTY. ing may either be at a time or place certain, That the assent of the president-general to be fixed by the president-general and grand be requisite to all acts of the grand council; council at their first meeting; or left at liber- and that it be his office and duty to cause ty, to be at such time and place as they shall them to be carried into execution. adjourn to, or be called to meet at by the pre- The assent of the president-general to all sident-general.
acts of the grand council was made necesIn time of war it seems convenient, that sary, in order to give the crown its due share the meeting should be in that colony which of influence in this government, and connect is nearest the seat of action.
it with that of Great Britain. The presidentThe power of calling them on any emer. general, besides one half of the legislative gency seemed necessary to be vested in the power, hath in his hands the whole executive president-general; but that such power might power. not be wantonly used to harass the members, and oblige them to make frequent long POWER OF PRESIDENT-GENERAL AND GRAND journies to little purpose, the consent of seven COUNCIL: TREATIES OF PEACE AND WAR. at least to such call was supposed a conve
That the president-general, with the adnient guard.
vice of the grand council, hold or direct all CONTINUANCE.
Indian treaties, in which the general interest That the grand council have power to of the colonies may be concerned ; and make choose their speaker; and shall neither be peace or declare war with Indian nations. dissolved, prorogued, nor continued sitting The power of making peace or war with longer than six weeks at one time, without Indian nations is at present supposed to be in their own consent or the special command of every colony, and is expressly granted to the crown.
some by charter, so that no new power is hereThe speaker should be presented for appro- by intended to be granted to the colonies. bation; it being convenient, to prevent mis- But as, in consequence of this power, one counderstandings and disgusts, that the mouth lony might make peace with a nation that of the council should be a person agreeable, another was justly engaged in war with ; or if possible, both to the council and president- make war on slight occasions without the general.
concurrence or approbation of neighbouring Governors have sometimes wantonly exer- colonies, greatly endangered by it; or make cised the power of proroguing or continuing particular treaties of neutrality in case of a the sessions of assemblies, merely to harass general war, to their own private advantage the members and compel a compliance; and in trade, by supplying the common enemy; sometimes dissolve them on slight disgusts. of all which there have been instances--it This it was feared might be done by the presi- was thought better, to have all treaties of a
general nature under a general direction ;! Very little of the land in those grants is yet that so the good of the whole may be consult- ' purchased of the Indians. ed and provided for.
It is much cheaper to purchase of them, than
to take and maintain the possession by force : INDIAN TRADE.
for they are generally very reasonable in their That they make such laws as they judge demands for land ,* and the expense of guardnecessary for regulating all Indian trade. ing a large frontier against their incursions is
Many quarrels and wars have arisen be- vastly great; because all must be guarded, tween the colonies and Indian nations, through and always guarded, as we know not where the bad conduct of traders who cheat the In- or when to expect them.t dians after making them drunk, &c. to the great expense of the colonies, both in blood
NEW SETTLEMENTS." and treasure Particular colonies are so in- That they make new settlements on such terested in the trade, as not to be willing to purchases, by granting lands in the king's admit such a regulation as might be best for
name, reserving a quit-rent to the crown for the whole ; and therefore it was thought best
the use of the general treasury. .. under a general direction. .
It is supposed better that there should be
one purchaser than many; and that the crown INDIAN PURCHASES.
should be that purchaser, or the union in the That they make all purchases, from In- name of the crown. By this means the bardians for the crown, of lands not now with gains may be more easily made, the price not in the bounds of particular colonies, or that enhanced by numerous bidders, future disshall not be within their bounds when some putes about private Indian purchases, and moof them are reduced to more convenient di nopolies of vast tracts to particular persons mensions.
(which are prejudicial to the settlement and Purchases from the Indians, made by pri- peopling of the country) prevented; and the vate persons, have been attended with many land being again granted in small tracts to the inconveniences. They have frequently in- settlers, the quit-rents reserved may in time terfered, and occasioned uncertainty of titles, become a fund for support of government, for many disputes and expensive law-suits, and defence of the country, ease of taxes, &c. hindered the settlement of the land so dis- Strong forts on the lakes, the Ohio, &c. may, puted. Then the Indians have been cheated at the same time they secure our present fronby such private purchases, and discontent and tiers, serve to defend new colonies settled unwars have been the consequence. These der their protection, and such colonies would would be prevented by public fair purchases. also mutually defend and support such forts,
Several of the colony charters in America and better secure the friendship of the far Inextend their bounds to the South Sea, which dians. may be perhaps three or four thousand miles / A particular colony has scarce strength in length to one or two hundred miles in enough to extend itself by new settlements, breadth. It is supposed they must in time be at so great a distance from the old': but the reduced to dimensions more convenient for the joint force of the union might suddenly estacommon purposes of government.*
* " Dr. Franklin (savs Mr. Kalm the Swede,) and * Baron Meseares, in his account of the Proceedings several other gentlemen, frequently told me, that a at Quebec. for obtaining an Assembly, savs, "The vast powerful Indian, who possessed Rhode Island, had sold enlargement of the province of Quebec, by adding to it it to the English for a pair of spectacles; it is large a new territory that contains, according to lord Hills enough for a prince's domain, and makes a peculiar go. borough's estimation of it, five hundred and eleven vernment at present." See Kalm's Travels into North millions of acres (that is, more land than Spain, Italy, America. Vol. I. p 386, 3-7. "At the time when the France, and Germany put together, and most of it good Swedes first arrived, they bought land at a very incon. land) is a measure that would require an ampie dissiderable price. For a piece of baize, or a pot full of enssjon." -The motives assigned by the act regulating brandy, or the like, they could get a piece of ground tbe government of Quebec, are here quoted_" By the which at present would be worth more than 2907. sterarrangements made by the royal proclamation, a very ling." Ib. vol. II p. 118 --The truth is, that the In. large extent of foutlying country, within which there | dians considered their lands as mere huntiug manors, are several colonies and settlements of the subjects of and not as farms. France, who claimed to remain therein under the faith † To guard against the incursions of the Indians, a of toe said treaty, was left without any provision be-/ plan was sent over to America, it was said by autho. ing made for the adininistration of civil government rity, suggesting the expediency of clearing away the therein : i e. a few Indian traders were a pretext for woods and bushes from a tract of land, a mile in breadth, this appropriation of a tract of country, which, accord and extending along the back of the colonies. Unfor. ing to the minister's estimate, was more than thirteen tunately, besides the large expense of the undertaking times larger than England and Wales united, nearly (which, if one acre cost 21 sterling, and six hundred and one hundred and twenty-eight times larger than Jaforty acres make a square mile, is 192.0001 first cost for maica, almost one eighth part of Europe, and consider every hundrell iniles) it was forgotten, that the Indians. ably more than one thirty-eighth part of the whole ha. like other people, knew the ditference between day and bitable earth. * Now all the inhabitants of the province night, and that a mile of advance and another of retreat of Quebec," says this act,"amounted at the conquest were nothing to the celerity of such an enemy --This to above sixty-five thousand (only.) professicg the re. plan, was the work of Tucker, dean of Gloucester, a con. ligion of the church of Rome, and enjoying an esta. spicuous writer on American affairs, before and during blished form of constitution and system of laws." | the revolution.
blish a new colony or two in those parts, or ex- ! Particulur colonies are at present backward tend an old colony to particular passes, greatly to build forts at their own expense, which they to the security of our present frontiers, increase say will be equally useful to their neighbouiof trade and people, breaking off the French ing colonies; who refuse to join, on a precommunication between Canada and Louisi- sumption that such forts will be built and kept ana, and speedy settlement of the intermediate up, though they contribute nothing. This unlands.
just conduct weakens the whole; but the forts The power of settling new colonies is there- being for the good of the whole, it was thought fore thought a valuable part of the plan, and best they should be built and maintained by what cannot so well be executed by two unions the whole, out of the common treasury. as by one.
| In the time of war, small vessels of force
are sometimes necessary in the colonies to LAWS TO GOVERN THEM.
scour the coast of small privateers. These That they make laws for regulating and being provided by the union will be an adgoverning such new settlements, till the crown vantage in turn to the colonies which are shall think fit to form them into particular situated on the sea, and whose frontiers on governments.
| the land-side, being covered by other colonies, The making of laws suitable for the new reap but little immediate benefit from the adcolonies, it was thought, would be properly vanced forts. vested in the president-general and grand council; under whose protection they must at
POWER TO MAKE LAWS, LAY DUTIES, &c. first necessarily be, and who would be well That for these purposes they have power acquainted with their circumstances, as hav- to make laws, and lay and levy such general ing settled them. " When they are become duties, imports, or taxes, as to them shall ap. sufficiently populous, they may by the crown pear most equal and just (considering the be formed into complete and distinct govern- ability and other circumstances of the inhaments.
bitants in the several colonies,) and such as The appointment of a sub-president by the may be collected with the least inconvenience crown, to take place in case of the death or to the people ; rather discouraging luxury, absence of the president-general, would per-than loading industry with unnecessary burhaps be an improvement of the plan; and if dens. all the governors of particular provinces were The laws which the president-general and to be formed into a standing council of state, grand council are impowered to make are for the advice and assistance of the president, such only as shall be necessary for the governgeneral, it might be another considerable im- ment of the settlements; the raising, reguprovement.
lating, and paying soldiers for the general
| service; the regulating of Indian trade; and RAISE SOLDIERS, AND EQUIP VESSELS, &c. laying and collecting the general duties and
That they raise and pay soldiers and build taxes. (They should also have a power to forts for the defence of any of the colonies, restrain the exportation of provisions to the and equip vessels of force to* guard the enemy from any of the colonies, on particular coasts and protect the trade on the ocean, occasions, in time of war.) But is it not in lakes,* or great rivers ; but they shall not tended that they may interfere with the conimpress men in any colony without the constitution and government of the particular sent of the legislature. ..
colonies; who are to be left to their own laws, It was thought, that quotas of men, to be and to lay, levy, and apply their own taxes as raised and paid by the several colonies, and before. joined for any public service, could not always
GENERAL TREASURER AND PARTICULAR TREAbe got together with the necessary expedition.
SURER. For instance, suppose one thousand men should be wanted in New Hampshire on any
That they may appoint a general treasuremergency; to fetch them by fifties and hun er and particular treasurer in each governdreds out of every cology, as far as South ment, when necessary; and from time to time Carolina, would be inconvenient, the trans-may order the sums in the treasuries of each portation chargeable, and the occasion perhaps government into the general treasury; or passed before they could be assembled ; and
draw on them for special payments, as they therefore that it would be best to raise them find most convenient. (by offering bounty-money and pay) near the
The treasurers here meant are only for the place where they would be wanted, to be dis- general funds, and not for the particular funds charged again when the service should be over. of each colony, which remain in the hands of
their own treasurers at their own disposal. " According to a plan which had been proposed by
MONEY HOW TO ISSUE. governor Pownall, and approved of by congress."-Administration of the Colonies, vol.ii. p. 148.
Yet no money to issue but by joint orders
of the president-general and grand council;/ fore, if the crown appointed a vice-president, except where sums have been appropriated to to take place on the death or absence of the particular purposes, and the president-gene-i president-general: for so we should be more ral is previously impowered by an act to draw sure of a suitable person at the head of the such sums.
colonies. On the death or absence of both, To prevent misapplication of the money, or the speaker to take place (or rather the eldest even application that might be dissatisfactory king's-governor) till his majesty's pleasure be to the crown or the people, it was thought known. necessary, to join the president-general and grand council in all issues of money.
OFFICERS HOW APPOINTED.
That all military commission officers, wheACCOUNTS.
ther for land or sea service, to act under this That the general accounts shall be yearly general constilution, shall be nominated by settled and reported to the several assemblies. the president-general; but the approbation of
By communicating the accounts yearly to the grand council is to be obtained before each assembly, they will be satisfied of the they receive their commissions. And all civil prudent and honest conduct of their represent officers are to be nominated by the grand atives in the grand council.
council, and to receive the president-gene
ral's approbation before they officiale. QUORUM.
It was thought it might be very prejudicial That a quorum of the grand council, im- to the service, to have officers appointed unpowered to act with the president-general, do known to the people, or unacceptable, the geconsist of twenty-five members ; among whom nerality of Americans serving willingly under there shall be one or more from a majority officers they know: and not caring to engage of the colonies.
in the service under strangers, or such as are The quorum seems large, but it was often appointed by governors through favour thought it would not be satisfactory to the co- or interest. The service here meant, is pot lonies in general, to have matters of import- the stated settled service in standing troops ; ance to the whole transacted by a smaller num- / but any sudden and short service, either for ber, or even by this number of twenty-fivė, defence of our colonies, or invading the eneunless there were among them one at least my's country ; (such as, the expedition to from a majority of the colonies; because other- Cape Breton in the last war; in which many wise, the whole quorum being made up of substantial farmers and tradesmen engaged as members from three or four colonies at one common soldiers, under officers of their own end of the union, something might be done country, for whom they had an esteem and afthat would not be equal with respect to the fection; who would not have engaged in a rest, and thence dissatisfaction and discords standing army, or under officers from Eng. might rise to the prejudice of the whole.
land.) It was therefore thought best, to give
the council the power of approving the ofLAWS TO BE TRANSMITTED.
ficers, which the people will look upon as a That the laws made by them for the pur- great security of their being good men. And poses aforesaid shall not be repugnant, but, / without some such provision as this, it was as near as may be, agreeable to the laws of thought the expense of engaging men in the England, and shall be transmitted to the service on any emergency would be much king in council for approbation, as soon as greater, and the number who could be inmay be after their passing; and if not dis- duced to engage much less; and that therefore approved within three years after present it would be most for the king's service and ation, to remain in force.
general benefit of the nation, that the preroThis was thought necessary for the satis-gative should relax a little in this particular faction of the crown, to preserve the connex- throughout all the colonies in America; as it *ion of the parts of the British empire with had already done much more in the charters the whole of the members with the head, and of some particular colonies, viz. Connecticut to induce greater care and circumspection in and Rhode Island.
" making of the laws, that they be good in The civil officers will be chiefly treasurers themselves and for the general benefit.
and collectors of taxes; and the suitable per
sons are most likely to be known by the DEATH OF THE PRESIDENT-GENERAL. council. That in case of the death of the presidentgeneral, the speaker of the grand council for
VACANCIES HOW SUPPLIED. the time being shall succeed, and be vested But in case of vacancy by death, or removwith the same powers and authorities, to con- al of any officer civil or military under this tinue till the king's pleasure be known. constitution, the governor of the province in
It might be better, perhaps, as was said be- which such vacancy happens may appoint,
till the pleasure of the president-general and plan, with thanks to your excellency for comgrand council can be known.
municating them. The vacancies were thought best supplied I apprehend, that excluding the people of by the governor in each province, till a new the colonies from all share in the choice of the appointment can be regularly made; other. grand council will give extreme dissatisfacwise the service might suffer before the meet- tion; as well as the taxing them by act of ing of the president-general and grand coun- parliament, where they have no representacil.
tion. It is very possible, that this genera!
government might be as well and faithfully EACH COLONY MAY DEFEND ITSELF ON EMER administered without the people, as with them; GENCY, &c.
but where heavy burdens are to be laid upon That the particular military as well as them, it has been found useful, to make it as civil establishments in each colony remain in much as possible their own act; for they bear their present state, the general constitution better, when they have, or think they have, notwithstanding; and that on sudden emer- some share in the direction; and when any gencies any colony may defend itself, and lay public measures are generally grievous, or the accounts of expense thence arising be- even distasteful, to the people, the wheels of fore the president-general and general coun-government move more heavily. cil, who may allow and order payment of the same, as far as they judge such accounts just and reasonable.
II. Letter to the same ; concerning direct Otherwise the union of the whole would Taxes in the Colonies imposed willout conweaken the parts, contrary to the design of sent, indirect Taxes, and the Albany Plan the union. The accounts are to be judged of of Union. by the president-general and grand council,
Wednesday morning. and allowed if found reasonable: this was
SIR, I mentioned it yesterday to your thought necessary to encourage colonies to excellency as my opinion, that excluding the defend themselves, as the expense would be people of the colonies from all share in the light when borne by the whole; and also to choice of the grand council, would probably check imprudent and lavish expense in such give extreme dissatisfaction, as well as the defences.*
taxing them by act of parliament, where they have no representation. In matters of general concern to the people, and especialiy
where burdens are to be laid upon them ; it ALBANY PAPERS-continued.
is of use to consider, as well what they will be 1. Letter to governor Shirley, concerning the apt to think and say, as what they ought to
Imposition of direct Taxes upon the Colo- think: I shall therefore, as your excellency nies, without their consentif
requires it of me, briefly mention what of
either kind occurs to me on this occasion. Tuesday morning.
First, they will say, and perhaps with jusSır, --I return you the loose sheets of the
e tice, that the body of the people in the colonies
are as loyal, and as firmly attached to the * This plan of union was rejected, and another pro. |
poro: I present constitution, and reigning family, as posed by the English minister, which had for its obiect. taking power frojn the people in the colonies, in order to any subjects in the king's dominions. give it to the crown.
That there is no reason to doubt the readiThese letters to governor Shirlcy first appeared in the London Chronicle for Feb. 6-8, 1766, with an in
n. ness and willingness of the representatives troduction signed A Lover of Britain. In the beginning of the year 1776, they were republished in Alimon's Re
such supplies for the defence of the country, membrancer, with an additional prefatory piece, under the signature of A Mourner over our Cala milies.-The subiect of them in the words of one of these writers is
these writers is abilities will allow. as follows: "The Albany Plan of Union was sent to the governinent here for approbation : had it been ap
!! That the people in the colonies, who are to proved and established by authority froin hence, Eng.
and lish America thought itself sufficiently able to cope with the French, without other assistance; several of
conquest by an enemy, in the loss of their the colonies having alone, in former wars, withstood est their whole power, unassisted not only by the mother. | better judges of the quantity of forces necescountry, but by any of the neighbouring provincesThe plan, however, was not approved here; a Neto one was formed instead of it; which proposed, that "the go. vernors of all the colonies, attended by one or two meinbers of their respective councils, should assemble, and
to bear the expense than the
p w i of concert measures for the defence of the whole, erect forts England, at so great a distance. where they judged proper, and raise wha! troops they
That governors often come to the colonies Thought necessary, with power to draw on the treasury here for the sums that should be wanted, and the trea.
merely to make fortunes, with which they sury to be reimbursed by a tar laid on the colonies by act intend to return to Britain; are not always of parliament"--This Nero Plan being communicated by governor Shirley to Dr. Franklin then in Boston,
men of the best abilities or integrity; have and produced this correspondence.
| many of them no estates here, nor any natural