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nant, but agreeable to the laws and customs of England: that thereby they might remain free from the influence of persons in power, the rights of the people might be preserved, and their properties effectually secured. That, the guarantee, William Penn (unders standing the said grant in this light) did, by his origiginal frame of government, covenant and grant with the people, that ihe judges and other officers should hold their commissions during their good behaviour, and no longer.
Notwithstanding which, the governors of this province have, for many years past, granted all the commissions to the judges of the king's bench or supreme court of this province, and to the judges of the court, of common pleas of the several counties, to be held during their will and pleasure ; by means whereof, the said judges being subject to the influence and directions of the proprietaries and their governors, their favourites apd creatures, the laws may not be duly administered or executed, but often wrested from their true sense; to serve particular purposes, the foundation of justice may be liable to be destroyed; and the lives, laws, liberties, privileges, and properties of the people thereby rendered precarious and altogether insecure; to the great disgrace of our laws, and the inconceivable injury of his majesty's subjects,
Your committee further beg leave to add, that besides these aggrievances, there are other hardships the people of this province have experienced, that call for redress. The inlistment of servants, without the least satisfaction being made to the masters, has not only pre
vented the cultivation of our lands, and diminished the trade and commerce of the province, but is a barthen extremely unequal and oppressive to individuals. And should the practice continue, the consequence must prove very discouraging to the further settlement of this colony, and prejudicial to his majesty's future service.—Justice, therefore, demands, that satisfaction should be made to the masters of such inlisted servants; and that the right of masters to their servants be confirmed and settled. But as those servants have been inlisted into his majesty's service for the general defence of America, and not of this province only, but all the colonies, and the nation in general, bave and will receive equal benefit from their service; this satisfaction should be made at the expence of the nation, and not of the province only.
That the people now labour under a burthen of taxes, almost insupportable by so young a colony for the defence of its long-extended frontier, of about two hundred. miles from New Jersey to Maryland; without either of those colonies, or the three lower counties on Delaware, contributing their proportion thereto; though their frontiers are in a great measure covered and protected by our forts. And should the war continue, and with it this unequal burthen, many of his majesty's subjects in this province will be reduced to want, and the province, if not lost to the enemy, involved in debt, and . sunk under its load.
That notwithstanding this weight of taxes, the assemblies of this province have given to the general service of the nation, five thousand pounds to purchase provisions for the troops under General Braddock; 2,985).
Os. 11d. for clearing a road by his orders; 10,5141. 10s. Id. to General Shirley, for the purchasing provisions for the New England forces; and expended the sum of 2,3851. Os. 2 d. in supporting the inhabitants of Nova Scotia ; which likewise we conceive ought to be a national expence.
And that his majesty's subjects, the merchants and insurers in England, as well as the merchants here and elsewhere, did during the last, and will during the present war, greatly suffer in their property, trade, and commerce, by the enemy's privateers on this coast, and at our capes, unless some method be fallen on to prevent it.
Wherefore your committee are of opinion, That the commissioners intended to be sent to England*, to solicit a memorial and redress of the many infractions and violations of the constitution; should also have it in charge, and be instructed to represent to our most gracious sovereign and his parliaments, the several unequal burthens and hardships before-mentioned ;--and endeavour to procure satisfaction to the masters of such servants as have been inlisted, and the right of masters to their servants established and confirmed ;and to obtain a repayment of the said several sums of money, some assistance towards defending our exten
* Dr. Franklin was afterwards appointed to present this address, as agent for the province of Pensylvania, and departed from America for the purpose in June 1757. See his life, Vol. I. p. 134. While in England, the inore etfectually to accomplish the business upon which he was sent, he wrote the article that follows in the next page, entitled. An historical Review, &c. 'Editor.
sive frontier, and a vessel of war to protect the trade and commerce of this province.
Submitted to the correction of the house.
Feb. 22, 1757.
An historical Review of the Constitution and Government of Pensylvania, from its Origin; so far as regards the several Points of Controversy which have, from Time to Time, arisen between the several Governors of that Propince, and their several Assemblies. Founded on authentic Documents,
Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary
safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. Griffiths, 1759*
To the right honourable Arthur Onslow, speaker of the
honourable House of Commons.
Sir, THE subject of the following sheets is an unhappy pne: the controversy between the proprietaries and successive assemblies of Pensylvania : a controversy
* This is the title of an octavo volume, consisting of nearly five hundred pages closely printed. It was written, as mentioned in the preceding note, while Dr. Franklin was in England as agent for the province of Pensylvania, to further the ends of his mission, by removing the unfavourable impressions which had taken place to the prejudice of the Pensylvanians : and " it must be confessed," as a reviewer of the work observes, " they
which has often embarrassed, if not endangered the public service: a controversy which has been long depending, and which still seems to be as far from an issue as ever.
Our blessed Saviour reproaches the Pharisees with laying heavy burdens on men's shoulders, which they themselves woulit not stir with a single finger.
Our proprietaries, sir, have done the same; and, for the sake of the commonwealth, the province has hitherto submitted to the imposition: not indeed, without the most strenuous endeavours to lay the load equally, the fullest manifestations, and the strongest protestations against the violence put upon them.
Having been most injuriously misrepresented and traduced in priot, by the known agents and dependents of those gentlemen their fellow subjects, they at last find themselves obliged to set forth an historical state of their case, and to make their appeal to the public
had in our author a most zealous and able advocate. His sentiments are manly, liberal, and spirited; his style close, nervous, and rhetorical. By a forcible display of the oppressions his clients have sustained, he inclines us to pity their condition; by an enumeration of their virtues he endeavours to remove the idea, which many have entertained, of their unimportance, and, abstracted from their consideration in a political light, they claim our regard by reason of their own personal merits.” Interesting however as the controversy between the governors and the assembly of Pensylvania may have been at the time, it is too little so now to justify the insertion of so.voluminous an account of it in the present collection, and we shall content ourselves therefore with extracting the dedication, preface, and contents. It is singular, that neither the editor of Dr. Franklin's works, whom we have designated by the letters B. V.; nor Dr. Stuber the continuator of his life, should have mentioned this publication. The work is indeed anonymous, but it is so well known to have been Dr. Franklin's, that in the common library catalogue of the British Musean it is ranked under his name. Editor.