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‘This repetition of our continuing in those intentions, does not proceed from any design of involving the house in unnecessary trouble; but as many of our constituents seem of opinion, that the present situation of public affairs calls upon us for services in a military way, which, from a convic— tion of judgment, after mature deliberation, we cannot comply with; we conclude it.most conducive to the peace of our own minds, and the reputation of our religious profession, to persist in our resolutions of resigning‘ our seats, which we accordingly now do; and request these our reasons may be entered on the minutes of the house.’ i
The speaker hereupon sent an order to the secretary, being the proper oflicer, to issue writs for so many re-elections, who thought fit to refuse obedience, the governor being of opinion, that though there was an express provision by law for filling a vacancy occasioned by wilful absence, there was none'for a vacancy occasioned by resignation. Upon which the speaker, by the advice of such members as were then in town, issued his own writs, founded on‘ the same law, from whence the governor derived his objection. These writs the sheriffs obeyed, what instances soever they might have been importuned ‘with to the contrary; the freeholders exercised their rights of electing'pin pursuance of them; the returns were made in the usual form ; and the house resolved nem. can. that the members so returned had been duly elected.
Thus the breach was closed as soon as it was opened; and Whatever view the governor had to serve by his opposition, be neither did himself’ or views any service-by it.
His message, introductory to the business of the session, contained a notification of the king’s having appointed the earl of London, commander in chief of all his forces vin America, with two regiments of foot, a train of artillery, stores, 81c. and commanded him, the governor, to give his lordship and the troops all the assistance in his power: particularly to recommend it to them, to appropriate such part of the funds already raised, or to be raised, for the public service, so as to be issued asihis lordship should direct. As also of another circumstance altogether new in the British
constitution; namely, his majesty being enabled by ad of parliament to appointa number of German, Swiss, and Dutch Protestants to be officers of a regiment to‘ be raised and called the Royall’4 American Regiment; as also of another-particular recommendation which he was enjoined to make to them, that the masters of such indented servants as should engage in the king’s service,- might be indemnified out of the funds raised for the public service. And the nature of this review requires, that the sequel of this message should be given in the governor’s own words, which were as follows, to wit:
‘His majesty has further commanded me to recommend it to you, to pass effectual laws for prohibiting all trade and commerce with the French, and to prevent their being supplied with provisions; and as‘ the law lately passed. here for an embargo will, by the expiration of the act for that purpose passed in‘ the lower counties, end on the seventh of July, I hope you will prepare aproperbill for continuing an embargo, so necessary for his majesty’s service, and the safety- of these colonies, for some time longer. . I
‘ The secretary will lay before you extracts of the secretary of state’s‘letters to‘me, relating to the matters now recommended, and I hope you will' without delay enter upon the consideration of them, and comply with his majesty’s ex‘pect ltlQnS.
‘The money heretofore given for the king’s use will be very soon expended, and I shall in that case be under a necessity of disbanding the, troopsraised for the defence of the province, and of destroying or abandoning the several forts erected upon our‘frontiers; I must therefore desire you will , grant such further supplies as the present situation of our affairs require.’
14- This American Regiment was to consist of four thousand men: it was to be composed of whatever protestants the colonies could furnish, and, ,\ according to the first plan, was to have been commanded by none but foreign officers; but this plan having been objected to, some abatements were admitted; namely, that the foreign officers should not exceed one half of the whole number; that room should be left for some Americans; that the commander should be always a natural born subject, 8m,
To the clause relating to the embargo, the house ordered an immediate answer to be prepared; in which, having told him what he could not but know before, “that they had al.ready done what was now required of them, by-a law still in force, and which would have so continued till August 4-, the time limited by the law of New York, providedthe three lower counties had also passed a law conformable thereto,” they proceeded in these words; ‘ I i’
“As provisions might be exported from this province through those counties, not subject to our laws, and great quantities are raised there, we were fully apprized that any restraints we could lay upon our exportations here 'would by no means put a stop to the supplying the French with provisions, unless that government prohibited the exportations from thence also; we therefore limited the'continuance of our act accordingly, and we must own the astonishment we were under, when we found the governor had enacted a law there invalidating the acts of the other colonies, by limiting the continuance of their act to one month only.
“ As our act prohibits the exportation of provisions in conformity with the law of New York colony, with which New Jersey, we understand, has also complied, the governor cannot think it reasonable, that the colonies of New York, New Jersey, and this province, should be deprived of their laws by an act of the government of the three lower counties ; therefore, as that act was passed by the governor himself, we presume, instead of applying to us upon this occasion, he will think it his duty to call the assembly of the three lower coun. ties,~to whom it belongs, to continue their law to the time 1i‘ mited by the other governments. '
“ It is well known that Maryland raises great quantities of wheat, pork, and other provisions, and yet, as we are informed, their ports have hitherto continued open to the exports of provisions from thence ; the governor will therefore judge the necessity of recommending a prohibition there, Without which, we apprehend the acts of the northern and eastern colonies must prove ineffectual.”
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The bill of supply already before the house, was, in the next place resumed: and to clear the way as they went, anew
message was sent to the governor to know, whether he had‘
come to any resolution on the excise and Indian trade bills? to which,-in efl'ect, -he answered, that, as‘ to the latter, he thought his amendments to it so just and reasonable, that he could not, therefore,recede from them; and as to the former, that he had added a clause by which the money to arise by it, was to be disposed of in such a manner as the governor and commander in chief, and in case of his death or absence, the president of the council and the assemblyshould direct; adding, ‘this manner of disposing of the public mo~ ney appears to me most conducive to the general interest, and you will observe by an article in the proprietary instructions to me, which I send you herewith, that I am restrained from passing any bill of that nature without such an ap propriating clause.’ ‘ ,
And this instruction was delivered in the terms following, to wit: '
‘ You shall not give your assent to any law for prolonging the present excise, or laying any other excise, or raising any money on the inhabitants of the said provinceiof Pennsylvania, unless there be an enacting clause, that all money arising from the said excise, or other duties, shall be disposed of only
‘ as we or either of us, exercising the oflice of governor, or
the lieutenant-governor, or, in case of his death or absence, the president of the council,“and the house of representatives, for the time being, shall direct; and not otherwise.’
Thus the great proprietary secret, so long suspected, 50 long and so cautiously preserved, and which had operated s0 mischievously and dangerously, not only to the province of Pennsylvania but all the provinces adjoining, was at last acknowledged; and it thereby became undeniable, that, under such a ‘commission, inforced by a penal bond upon the holder of it, neither the province could be'protected, the kingtserved, or the interest‘ of the community maintained, unless the freemen parted with their birth-rights, and the special confirmations of them contained in their charter. ‘ i '
And it is equally to be wondered, that any two subjects in the king’s dominions, should presume to exact such concessions from their fellow-subjects as his majesty himself neither has, or makes any claim to; and that any gentlemanshould submit to serve them on such equally tyrannical and servile terms. ' ’ ' ‘.
The resolutions of the house hereon ‘were worthy of‘ the ‘
occasion, and as such are equally worthy of having'a place in this work. i i 1 k a‘ ' - ‘- _
‘Resolved, that it is the opinion of this'house, that the said proprietary instruction was the principal, if not the only, obstruction to the passing theseveral bills offered to the governor bythe last assembly for granting money for the king’s USC- ‘ Q
‘ That the act for laying an excise on wine, rum, brandy, and other spirits, passed in the year 1744'; and the act grant‘ing five thousandlnpounds for the king’s use, passed the 24th of June, 1746, by which the said act for laying an excise on wine, rum, brandy, and other spirits, was continued for ten years next after the first ' day of June, 1746, have received the royal approbation. *- .
‘That acts laying an excise on spirituous liquors have been found necessary for defraying the charges of government, and have been continued within this province for more than thirty years; and that the governor’s not passing the bill presented to him for continuing the excise, upon the terms of all our former acts, repeatedly approved of by the crown, from an apprehension that he is restrained by the said pro-i prietary instruction, is evasive and frivolous, and an infringement of our just rights; and, that, as deputy-governor of this province, he has, or ought to have, full powers to give his assent to all such bills as we have an undoubted right to offer.
‘ That the said instruction “is not calculated to promote
V the happiness and prosperity'of this province, and is incon
sistent with the prerogative of the crown, and the liberties of the people ;” and that all proprietary instructions, not warranted by the laws of Great Britain, are illegal and void in