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majestic grove that shaded the extended level on the western bank, bordered on the back by the beautiful serpentine river called by the natives, the SCHUYLKILI., struck his eye as a fine scite for his future city.
Abhorring the idea of killing his fellow-men, the poor natives, and taking away their lands, he sent around among them the Calumet or pipe of peace, inviting them to'"A FRIENDLY TALK." Painted in reci ochre, and decked in all the savage pomp of wild skins and feathers, the kings of the soil with all their simple tribes assembled themselves together. The meeting was in the summer of 1681, under the trees near the margin of the great ri
The scene was lovely to the eye of humanity. The red and white men from different continents were seen to meet not as enemies for mutual slaughter, but as brothers for loving commerce.
The shores were covered with British merchandize. The eyes of the simple children of nature sparkled on those rich wares, the like of which they had never seen before.
Penn gave them every thing. He gave them precious axes to master the forests; and still more magic guns to master the wolves and panthers. He gave them warm clothes for defence against the cold, and ploughs ares and hoes for plentiful harvests. In return they gave him that large tract of land in their country, which in honour of this good man has been called Pennsylvania. Instantly the aged forests began to resound with the strokes of axes and the crash of falling trees. And the corner stone was laid of the new city, which, with great propriety, was named of Penn, PHILADELPHIA, or the city of brotherly love.
Having thus laid the foundation of this colony in jus. TICE to the poor natives, and in generosity to his own followers in the great cheapness of his lands, in perfect liberty of conscience, and in the exceeding moderation of his government, this wise statesman then looked to God for his blessings. Nor did he look in vain. The fame of "Penn Colony,” resounded throughout Great Britain. An immense emigration were quickly on their way to Pennsylvania. The young city grew apace, and farms and fair buildings, in the country, spread in every direction with a rapidity unequalled in history.
But alas! when honest William fell asleep, there rose after him a race of heirs “who knew not Joseph;" who not content, like him, with modest drab, and simple dinners, and aspiring to the true happiness of imitating Gud in godlike loves and deeds; basely prostituted their hearts to carnal lusts and pride.
The worship of these gods, though contemptible, is costly; and to these wet-quaker successors of the good William Penn, nothing promised such a swelling revenue as a bold rise in the price of their lands. And in this pitiful kind of management they soon gave the Pennsylvanians to understand that like Rehoboam of old, "their little fingers were heavier than their father's loins.” I have not been able to procure any thing like certainty as to the sum that GOOD William Penn gave to the natives for the vast tract of land he purchased of them. But that he hardly gave at the rate of a hatchet for what is now a noble farm, may be very fairly inferred. In 1754, which was seventy years later than the first purchase, the house of Penn bought of the Indians seven millions of acres lying within the ROYAL GRANT.
And what do you suppose they gave for it? what do you suppose they gave for seven millions of acres of rich, heavy timbered Pennsylvania land? why not quite two thousand dollars! noť three cents the hundred acres! And what do you suppose they immediately asked for it? why fifteen pounds ten shillings! near fifty thousand cents per hundred acres! And yet with such a bank of millions in hand they were not willing to bear their part of the taxes for public good!!
Like the starched Pharisees of old, they could throw heavy weights on other men's shoulders, but not suffer a fly to light on theirs. They could smile when they saw the officer going 'round with his ink horn and pen noting down the poor man's paddock, but if he but looked at their princely manors and parks they would make the whole colony ring with it.
Grown beyond calculation rich by the sales and rents of their lands in America, they scorned the country of their illustrious predecessor, and went over to London, where they mimicked the pride and pageantry of princes.
Thinking they did the obscure Pennsylvanians honor enough to govern them by proxy, they washed their hands of the poor colony government, and sent them over deputies. These hirelings, to augment their salaries, soon commenced a course oppressions on the people, whom they treated with great insolence.
It were too great an honour to those wretches to set the people of the present day to reading their insolent messages to the legislature. They were always, however, very properly chastised by Dr. Franklin; sometimes in the columns of his own popular newspaper, and sometimes in the assembly. Not, indeed, by long and eloquent orations, for which he either had no talent or declined it, preferring the pithy and pungent anecdote or story, which was always so admirably appropriate, and withal so keen in wit and truth, that like a flash from his own lightning rods, it never failed to de. molish the fairest fabric of sophistry, and cause even its greatest admirers to blush that they had been so fascinated by its false.glare.
In 1756, he was appointed deputy post-master general for the British colonies. It is asserted that in his hands, the post office in America yielded annually thrice as much as did that of Ireland. An extraordinary proof of our passion for reading and writing beyond the Irish. Perhaps it was owing to this that we saved our liberties, while they lost theirs.
Several of the middle colonies suffering much at this time from Indian depredations, on their frontiers, it was agreed among them to send commissioners to Albany to devise means for mutual defence. Doctor Franklin, commissioner on the part of Pennsylvania, had the honour to draw up a plan, which was thought excellent. Knowing the colonists to be the best marksmen in the world, and supposing it infinitely safer that the defence of their own firesides should be entrusted to thein than to British hirelings, he had with his usual sagacity recommended that muskets and powder should be put into their hands.
But when his plan was presented to the king and Council for ratification, it was indignantly rejected. It was thought by some that hardly could Satan and his black janisaries have been more seriously offended, had a cargo of Bibles and hymn books been recommended for their pandemonium.
The truth is, the British ministry had for a long time depressed the onfortunate Americans into mere hewers of wood and drawers of water, by making them bring all their rich produce of tobaccos, furs, &c. to English ports, and there give them the meanest prices; sometimes a penny, and eveo half a penny a pound for their brightest tobacco, which they would the next hour sell to the Dutch merchants for two shillings a pound. To preserve such a trade as this, as lord Howe ingenuously confessed, from going into any other channel, was a grand object to the ministry. But this they could not long count on, if the Americans were furnished with muskets, cannon and powder. They therefore, very: prudently, determined to leave doctor Franklin's excellent marksnien out of the question, and confide to their own creatures the protection of a country whose trade could so well repay them for it.
But their folls in preferring such troops was soon made evident, as Franklin had predicted. In the spring of 1755, two thousand veterans, the elite of the British military, were sent over to drive the French from the Obio. , One half that number of Virginia riflemen would have done the business completely. But such was the ministerial jealousy of the American rifemen, and so great their dread to embody and arm that kind of troops that they permitted no more than three companies to join the army. And even these were so hudicrously scrimped up by governor Dinwiddie, in jackets scarcely reaching to their waists, that they became a mere laughing stock of the British army, who never called them by any other name than the “VIRGINIA SHORT Many believed that this was done purposely, that by being thus constantly laughed at, they might be cowed thereby, and be led to think meaniy of themselves, as quite an inferior sort of beings to the MIGHTY ENGLISH. But blessed be God whose providence always takes part with the oppressed. A few short weeks only elapsed when this motley army was led by an incautious commander, into a fatal ainbuscade of the French and Indians, general Braddock, at the head of his 2000 British veterans, and young George Washington at the head of
his two hundred "Virginia short rumps." Then was displayed the soundness of doctor Franklin's judgment, in the wide difference, as to self possession and hard fighting, between these two kind of troops.
The conceited Englishmen behaved no better than WILD TURKIES; while the despised "Virginia short rumps" fought like lions, and had the glory of saving the wreck of the British army.
This sad defeat had like to have ruined doctor Franklin, by whose credit with the Pennsylvanians, colonel Dunbar of the rear guard of his arıny, had been furnished with fifty wagons, which were all burnt on the retreat. His escape from this danger was owing to the generosity of governor Shirley, who learning that Franke lin had incurred this debt on account of the British government, undertook to discharge it.
Seeing no end to the vexation and expense brought on the colony by those selfish beings, the PROPRIETARIES, the assembly came at length, to the resolution to petition the king to abolish the proprietary government and take the colony under his own care. Doctor Franklin was appointed to the honour of presenting this petition to his majesty George II. and sailed for England, June, 1757.
Learning at last that by obstinately contending for too much, they might possibly lose all, the proprietaries signified to doctor Franklin a willingness that their land should be taxed.
After the completion of this important business, Franklin remained at the court of Great Britain as agent for the province of Pennsylvania. The extensive knowledge which he possessed of the situation of the colonies and the regard which he always manifested for their interests, occasioned his appointment to the same office by the colonies of Massachusetts, Maryland and Georgia.
He had now an opportunity of visiting those illustri. ous Englishmen, whom his useful writings and discoveries had strongly bound to him, though they had never seen his face. The high opinion which they had formed of hiin at a distance was greatly increased by a personal acquaintance.
Such vastness of mind with such sweetness of spirit and simplicity of manners, formed a spectacle as rare as it was lovely. And as a proof that sUPERIOR Sense and