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act and thereby withdraw itself from the union, it would not be a stable one, or such as could be depended on: for if only one colony should, on any disgust withdraw itself, others might think it upjust and unequal that they, by continuing in the union, should be at the expence of defending a colony, which refused to bear its proportionable part, and would therefore one after another, withdraw, till the whole crumbled into its original parts. Therefore the commissioners came to another previous resolution, viz. That it was necessary the union should be established by act of parliament.
They then proceeded to sketch out a plan of union which they did in a plain and concise manner, just sufficient to show their sentiments of the kind of union that would best suit the circumstances of the colonies, be most agreeable to the people, and most effectually promote his majesty's service and the general interest of the British empire. This was respectfully sent to the assemblies of the several colonies for their considera. tion, and to receive such alterations and improvements as they should think fit and necessary; after which it was proposed to be transmitted to England to be perfected, and the establishment of it there humbly solicited.
This was as much as the commissioners could do *
II. Reasons against partial Unions. It was proposed by some of the commissioners, to form the colonies into two or three distinct unions; but
Dr. Davenant"was so well convinced of the expediency ofan union of the colonies, that he recites, at full length, a plan contrived, as he says, with good judgment for the purpose. Davenant, Vol. I. p 40, 41, of Sic C. Whitworth's Edition. B. V.
for these reasons that proposal was dropped even by those that made it : [viz.]
1. In all cases where the strength of the whole was necessary to be used against the enemy, there would be the same difficulty in degree, to bring the several unions to unite together, as now the several colonies; and consequently the same delays on our part and advantage to the enemy.
2. Each union would separately be weaker than when joined by the whole, obliged to exert more force, be oppressed by the expence, and the enemy less deterred from attacking it.
3. Where particular colonies have selfish views, as New York with regard to Indian trade and lands; or are less exposed, being covered by others, as New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maryland; or have particular whims and prejudices against warlike measures in general, as Pensylvania, where the Quakers predominate; such colonies would have more weight in a partial union, and be better able to oppose and oba Struct the measures necessary for the general good, than where they are swallowed up in the general union.
4. The Indian trade would be better regulated by the union of the whole than by partial unions. And as Canada is chiefly supported by that trade, if it could be drawn into the hands of the English (as it might be if the Indians were supplied on moderate terms, and by honest traders appointed by and acting for the public) that alone would contribute greatly to the weakening of our enemies.
5. The establishing of new colonies westward on the Ohio and the lakes (a matter of considerable importance to the increase of British trade and power, to the
breaking that of the French, and to the protection and security of our present colonies,) would best be carried on hy a joint union.
6. It was also thought, that by the frequent meeting-together of commissioners or representatives from all the colonies, the circumstances of the whole would be better known, and the good of the whole better provided for; and that the colonies would by this connection learn to consider themselves, not as so many independent states, but as meinbers of the same body; and thence be more ready to afford assistance and support to each other, and to make diversions. in favour even of the most distant, and to join cordially in any expedition for the benefit of all against the common enemy
These were the principal reasons and motives for forming the plan of union as it stands. To which may be added this, that as the union of the * * * * * * *
The remainder of this article is lost. III. Plan of a proposed Union of the several Colonies of
Massachusett's Bay, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pensylvania, Marylaud, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, for their mutual Defence and Security, and for extending the British Settlements in North America, with the Reasons and Motives for each Article of the Plan [as far as could be remembered.]
It is proposed-- That humble application be made for an act of parliament of Great Britain, by virtue of which one general government may be formed in America, including all the said colonies, within and under which government each colony may retain its present
constitution, except in the particulars wherein a change may be directed by the said act, as hereafter follows*.
PRESIDENT GENERAL, AND GRAND COUNCIL,
That the said general government be administered by a president general, to be appointed and supported by the crown ; and a grand council, to be chosen by the representatives of the people of the several colonies met in their respective assemblies.
It was thought that it would be best the president ġeneral should be supported as well as appointed by the crown; that so all disputes between him and the grand, council concerning his salary might be prevented; as such disputes have been frequently of mischievous consequence in particular colonies, especially in time of public danger. The quit-rents of crown-lands in America might in a short time be sufficient for this purpose.The choice of members for the grand council is placed in the house of representatives of each government, in. order to give the people a share in this new general government, as the crown has its share by the appointment of the president-general.
But it being proposed by the gentlemen of the council of New York, and some other counsellors among the commissioners, lo alter the plan in this particular, and to give the governors and council of the several provinces a share in the choice of the grand council, or at least a power of approving and confirming or of dis
* The reader may perceive, by the difference of the type, which is the text of the plan, and which the reasons and motives mentioned in the title. They are thus consolidated for his convenience. The editor has taken one or two farther liberties in transposing these Albany papers; but the sense remains as before. B. v.
allowing the choice made by the house of representatives, it was said:
“ That the government or constitution proposed to be formed by the plan, consists of two branches; a president general appointed by the crown, and a council chosen by the people, or by the people's representatives, which is the same thing.
“That by a subsequent article, the council chosen by the people can effect nothing without the constent of the president general appointed by the crown; the crown possesses therefore full one half of the
power this constitution.
« That in the British constitution, the crown is supposed to possess but one third, the lords having their share.
« That this constitution seemed rather more favorable for the crown.
« That this is essential to English liberty, [that] the subject should not be taxed but by his own consent, or the consent of his elected representatives.
“That taxes to be laid and levied by this proposed constitution will be proposed and agreed to by the representatives of the people, if the plan in this particular be preserved: '1.
« But if the proposed alteration should take place, it'seemed as if matters may be so managed, as that the crown shall finally have the appointment not only of the president general, but of a majority of the grand council; for seven out of eleven governors and coun cils are appointed by the crown:
“ And so the people in all the colonies would in effect be taxed by their governors. " It was therefore apprehended, that such alterations