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ral be requisite to all acts of the grand council; and that it be his office and duty to cause them to be carried into execution.-—That the president-general, with the advice of the grand council, hold or direct all Indian treaties in which the general interest of the colonies may be concerned; and make peace, or declare war, with Indian nations.—That they make such laws as they judge necessary for regulating all Indian trade.-That they make all purchases from Indians for the crown, of lands not now within the bounds of particular colonies, or that shall not be within their bonnds, when some of them are reduced to more convenient dimensions.-That they make new settlements on such purchases, by granting lands in the king's name, reserving a quit-rent to the crown, for the use of the general treasury.--That they make laws for regulating and governing such new settlements, till the crown shall think fit to form them into particular governments.--That they raise and pay soldiers, and build forts, for the defence of any of the colonies, and equip vessels of force to guard the coasts, and protect the trade on the ocean, lakes, or great rivers ; but they shall not impress men in any colony, without the consent of the legislature.—That, for these purposes, they have power to make laws, and lay and levy such general duties, imposts, or taxes, as to them shall appear most equal and just (considering the ability and other circumstances of the inhabitants in the several colonies) and such as may be collected with the least inconvenience to the people; and rather discouraging luxury, than loading industry with unnecessary burthens.—That they may appoint a general treasurer, and a particular treasurer in each government, when necessary; and, from time to time, may order the sums in the treasuries of each government into the general treasury; or draw on. them for special payments, as they find most convenient ; yet no money to issue, but by joint orders of the president-general and grand council, except where sums have been appropriated to particular purposes,
and the president-general is previously empowered by an act to draw for such sums.-That the general account shall be yearly settled, and reported to the several assemblies.--That a quorum of the grand council, empowered to act with the president-general, do consist of twenty-five members, among whom there shall be one or more from a majority of the colonies. That the laws made by them, for the purposes aforesaid, shall not be repugnant, but, as near' as may be, agreeable to the laws of England, and shall be transmitted to the king in council, for approbation, as soon as may be after their passing ; and if not disapproved within three years after presentation, to remain in force.-That in case of the death of the presidentgeneral, the speaker of the grand council for the time being shall succeed, and be vested with the same powers and authorities, to continue. till the king's pleasure shall be known.--That all military commission-officers, whether for land or sea-service, to act under this general constitution, shall be nominated by the president-general; but the approbation of the grand council is to be obtained, before they receive their commissions : and all civil officers are to be · nominated by the grand council, and to receive the president-general's approbation before they officiate; but, in case of vacancy by death, or removal of any officer, civil or military, under this constitution, the governor of the province in which such vacancy happens, may appoint, till the pleasure of the presidentgeneral and grand council can be known. That the particular military, as well as civil establishments, in each colony, remain in their present state, the general constitution notwithstanding; and that, on sudden emergencies, any colony may defend itself, and lay the accounts of expence thence arising before the president-general and general council, who may allow and order payment of the same, as far as they judge such accounts just and reasonable*.'
# FRANKLIN's Albany Paper. ;
Another plan proposed at this time was, that the governors of the respective provinces, together with members of each provincial council, should meet to confer upon measures of general defence, and draw on the treasury of the home government, to defray expenses, which were subsequently to be refunded by taxes on America, levied by the British parliament.
Neither the Assemblies, however, nor the British government, approved of these plans. The crown was evidently jealous of the appearances of union and independent strength which had already been exhibited. Franklin's plan, in particular, was considered in England as far too democratic; while, curiously enough, it was rejected by the colonial Assemblies, as giving too large an increase to the royal prerogative. Franklin had frequent conferences upon the subject with sir J. Shirley and other governors. We insert the first two letters from Franklin to governor Shirley, as expressing, at this time, those sentiments of our philosopher, on the subject of taxation by the British parliament, which became afterwards the great topic of hostile discussion between the colonies and the mother-country. They bear in fact upon both the plans above alluded to.
LETTER I.-To governor Shirley, concerning the im
position of direct Taxes upon the Colonies without their consent.
“ Tuesday Morning. “SIR, I return you the loose sheets of the plan, with thanks to your Excellency for communicating them. I apprehend, that excluding the people of the colonies from all share in the choice of the grand council will give extreme dissatisfaction, as well as the taxing them by act of parliament where they have no representation. It is very possible, that this general government might be as well and faithfully administered without the people as with them ; but where heavy burdens are laid upon them, it has been found useful to make it as much as possible their own act; for they bear better when they have, or think they have, some share in the direction; and when any public measures are generally grievous, or even distasteful, to the people, the wheels of government move more heavily."
LETTER II.—To the same, concerning direct Taxes in
the Colonies, imposed without consent, indirect Taxes, and the Albany plan of union.
“ Wednesday Morning. “Sir, I mentioned it yesterday to your Excellency as my opinion, that excluding the people of the colonies from all share in the choice of the grand council would probably give extreme dissatisfaction, as well as the taxing them by act of parliament where they have no representation. In matters of general concern to the people, and especially where burdens are to be laid upon them, it is of use to consider, as well what they will be apt to think and say, as what they ought to think. I shall therefore, as your Excellency requires it of me, briefly mention what of either kind occurs to me on this occasion.
“First, they will say, and perhaps with justice, that the body of the people in the colonies are as loyal, and as firmly attached to the present constitution and reigning family, as any subjects in the king's dominions.
"That there is no reason to doubt the readiness and willingness of the representatives they may choose, to grant, from time to time, such supplies for the defence of the country as shall be judged necessary, so far as their abilities will allow.
“That the people in the colonies, who are to feel the immediate mischiefs of invasion and conquest by an enemy, in the loss of their estates, lives, and liberties, are likely to be better judges of the quantity of forces necessary to be raised and maintained, forts to be built and supported, and of their own abilities to bear the expence, than the parliament of England, at so great a distance.
“That governors often come to the colonies merely to make fortunes, with which they intend to return to Britain; are not always men of the best abilities or integrity; have many of them no estates here, nor any natural connexions with us, that should make them heartily concerned for our welfare ; and might possibly be fond of raising and keeping up more forces than necessary, from the profits accruing to them. selyes, and to make provisions for their friends and dependants.
« That the counsellors in most of the colonies being appointed by the crown, on the recommendation of governors, are often persons of small estates, frequently dependent on the governors for offices, and therefore too much under their influence.
“That there is, therefore, great reason to be jealous of a power, in such governors and councils, to raise such sums as they shall judge necessary, by drafts on the lords of the treasury, to be afterwards laid on the colonies by act of parliament, and paid by the people here; since they might abuse it by projecting useless expeditions, harassing the people, and taking them from their labour to execute such projects, merely to create offices and employments, and gratify their dependants, and divide profits. ." That the parliament of England is at a great distance, subject to be misinformed and misled by such governors and councils, whose united interests might probably secure them against the effect of any complaint from hence.
" That it is supposed an undoubted right of Englishmen, not to be taxed except by their own consent, given through their representatives.
“ That the colonies have no representatives in parliament.
“ That to propose taxing them by parliament, and