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post-master-general of America, at a salary of 6001. per annum out of the profits. Nothing like this sum, says Franklin, accrued to them for some years : on the contrary, the fourth annual account left the office in debt to them 9001. But Franklin's improving hand was after this felt in every part of the machine. It yielded to the home government, at last, three times as much revenue as the post-office of Ireland, and to himself and his colleague 100ol. per annum each.
Pennsylvania, from its first settlement, had been the scene of endless disputes between the proprietary and the inhabitants. Each succeeding governor was expected by the people to redress their grievances; but all seemed to have considered themselves the partisans of the proprietors. A great topic in dispute was, whether the proprietors possessed any right of exemption from taxes, in regard to their own estates. Bills of the most important nature, unless containing a clause of exemption, were rejected by successive governors, who are even said to have been compelled to give bonds never to pass such bills.
On the renewal of the war with France, this “incredible meanness," as Franklin calls it, was carried to the following extreme. · The province of Massachusetts Bay solicited the Assembīy of Pennsylvania for an aid of 10,000l. toward an expedition against the French fort at Crown Point; a request to which the Assembly, who seemed to possess liberal feelings as. to the funds of the province, readily listened. But the bill having passed the house without a clause of the above-mentioned kind, the governor refused his assent to it, and the whole affair was thrown into suspense. Franklin then proposed, that the Assembly should exercise a right, which they possessed independently of the governor, of drawing on the loan-office for the moneya proposal which was instantly complied with ; and although little cash was in the office, and the billş on it were obliged to be made payable thę following
year, bearing five per cent. interest, they were readily negotiated, and indeed sought after with eagerness. Franklin was therefore clearly, at this time, any thing but indisposed towards the general government. The Massachusetts deputies well knew to whom this great service was owing ; and with one of them, Mr Quincy, Franklin contracted a lasting and cordial friendship.
Being at New York in 1753, he was introduced to Mr Morris, a new governor of Pennsylvania, just arrived from England, who asked what he thought of his prospects of a comfortable situation ? Franklin replied, “ You may be comfortable enough, if you will only take care to avoid all disputes with the Assemhly.” “My good friend,” rejoined the Governor, “ you must know I love disputing; it is one of my greatest pleasures. However, to show the regard I have for you, I promise you I will, if possible, avoid them.” This gentleman however showed but slight recollection of his promise. He was soon at issue with the Assembly on the old point. On Franklin's return from an excursion in New England, he found them in high contention; and being put on every committee for receiving the Governor's messages, was requested to write answers to them all. Great good nature however was manifested in the private intercourse of the leading parties; and Franklin was always cordially received at the table of this governor. In one of their money bills the great question was literally reduced to two words. The bill enacted, that “ ail estates, real and personal, should be taxed, those of the proprietaries not excepted.” The governor's amendment was, “ for not read only." This related to a sum of 50,0001. for the defence of their own province; but the governor refused to pass the bill, and the assembly to alter it. * Between these local disputes, and the jealousy of the home government as to the military power of the colonies, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, were now the frequent scenes of attack from the Indians
and French. A camp was therefore ordered to be formed at Wills' Creek; and in February, 1755, major-general Braddock landed from England at Alexandria in Virginia, with Dunbar's and Halket's regiments of foot. Operations against the enemy were to have immediately commenced; but the Virginian contractors for the army had furnished neither provisions nor carriages. Greater ignorance could not well have been shown than in the selection of Virginia as the place for disembarking these troops. Intent upon their tobacco manufacture, and wellfurnished with water conveyances, the Virginians had little occasion at any time for wheel carriages or beasts of burden. Instead therefore of one hundred and fifty waggons, and double that number of horses, which were contracted for, only one hundred horses, and twenty-five waggons, for some weeks appeared. In this emergency the Pennsylvanians, who imagined the General to have conceived some strong prejudices against them, despatched Franklin to his assistance, requesting him to ask for the interview, not as deputed from the Assembly, but as postmaster-general. His son accompanied him. Having spent several days in the discussion of his ostensible business, the settling a mode for conveying despatches between the General and the governors of the provinces, Franklin witnessed the liscontent of the General, at his present situation and supplies. He casually remarked, how much more readily the troops could have been supplied from Pennsylvania, where every farmer had his waggon and horses. Braddock replied with eagerness, “ Then you, sir, who are a man of interest there, can probably procure some for us; and I beg you will.” Inquiring into the terms which should be offered to the owners, Franklin was ordered to draw up such proposals as he himself thought reasonable; which he instantly did, and advertised them in the public papers.
One hundred and fifty waggons, and two hundred and fifty-nine carrying horses, were brought in by
this address, and payment was promised by the proposals for all waggons and horses lost; but the owners alleging that they knew nothing of the General, insisted on Franklin's bond for their due return. He had also to advance one thousand pounds in cash for the government, at this time more than he received. · Hearing in this visit colonel Dunbar's officers complain of their want almost of the necessaries of à camp, he suggested to the committee of the Pennsylvanian Assembly, that the supply of about twenty articles of provision and refreshment would be well received ; but this also must be accomplished with Franklinian method! Twenty horses therefore made their appearance in the camp one day, each laden with a parcel of the articles in question, addressed as a present to an officer; and our deputy left the camp the most popular man in the country.
Braddock's expedition, it is well known, was not successful. He was a mere disciplinarian, with a shallow mind ; and, priding himself in his military education, had no idea of the difference between the European mode of warfare, and an American expedition through woods and morasses. Hence he treated with contempt the most essential local knowledge. · Franklin, while he characterizes him as a brave man, quickly saw the extent of his capacity. According to his own account, he was to take Fort Duquesne, which was a hundred and thirty miles from Wills’ Creek, in a few days. Then, says he, “I am to proceed to Niagara, and having taken that, to Fronterac, if the season will allow time, and I supPose it will.' Franklin observed to him, that certo inly, when he should arrive with those troops and his train of artillery before Duquesne, though it was well fortified and garrisoned, it probably would soon fall; but that the danger he anticipated was from ambuscade, and the exposure of the army in its passage, as it must form a narrow line in its march, near four miles long, and might be cut like a thread into pieces by a watchful enemy. The General replied contemptuously, “ These savages may indeed be a formidable enemy to your raw American militia; but upon the king's regular and disciplined troops, sir, it is impossible they should make any impression.” He commenced his march on the 4th of June, at the head of about two thousand two hundred men; and, upon his arrival at the meadows where Washington had been defeated the year before, he was informed that the French at Fort Duquesne expected a reinforcement of five hundred troops, and that he might therefore push forward with greater despatch; he left colonel Dunbar, with eight hundred men, at this place, to bring up the stores and baggage. He was not interrupted in his line of march in the way that Franklin had apprehended, but had arrived, on the 8th of July, within ten miles of Fort Duquesne, when a tremendous fire, which opened upon his advanced guard, gave him the first intimation of the presence of an enemy. So thick were the trees and bushes in this quarter, that no human being opposed to them could be seen; and his Indian guides having been dismissed in contempt, all was panic and confusion. The vanguard fell back upon the main body. Then the fire opened upon their fank; and the general, instead of scouring the thickets and bushes, ordered his men to form with parade accuracy, as if to exhibit the officers more conveniently to the marksmen of the enemy
They began to fall very fast; and the soldiers, hearing no word of command, despaired of keeping together. Braddock at last, having had several horses shot under him, received a musket-ball through the lungs, and fell: then the route became general. Out of eighty-six officers, sixty-three were killed or wounded, and seven hundred and fourteen men. Sir Peter Halket fell by the first fire, at the head of his regiment; and governor Shirley's son, Braddock's secretary, was killed soon after. The loss of the French and Indians is said to have been very inconsiderable, as they were so well concealed. Such of