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The Governor, at the same time, communicated to the Board a Letter which he had just received from Governor Eden, which follows in these Words, Viz":
[Not in the book.]
To which Letter the Governor, by the Advice of the Council, wrote the following Answer at the Table, Viz':
“I have the Favor of your Excellency's Letter of the 25th of March. Considering what passed between us the last Summer, on the Subject, I rather wished than expected your Concurrence in a Proclamation, and my last Letter was only meant to give you Notice of my Intention, because I would chuse to act in the most open manner.
“If any dependence is to be had on my Information, there is no probability of a Disturbance between the People of the two Provinces; They are in general satisfied that the Jurisdiction of this Government must take place, and therefore wish to have it hastened; por can I imagine they will give an opposition to a Measure which I have His Majesty's Permission to take; and I am persuaded such an Opposition will not be countenanced by the Government of Maryland. I therefore flatter myself that your Excellency will not think me unreasonable in persisting to issue a Proclamation, agreeable to the King's permission and the advice of my Council. - "I am, with great Regard, “Your Excellency's most obedient humble Servant,
“JOHN PENN. “ To His Excellency Rob". EDEN, Esq" Governor of Maryland.”
At a Council held at Philadelphia, on Friday 28th April, 1775.
The Governor having received by the last Packet three Letters from the Right Honorable the Earl of Dartmouth, with a Copy of a Resolution of the British House of Commons, entered into on the 20th of February last, relative to the Differences at present subsisting between great Britain and the Colonies, the same were laid before the Board and read, and one of the said Letters, with the Resolution therein referred to, follow in these Words, Viz":
“ WHITEHALL, 3d March, 1775.
“You will have seen in the King's Answer to the joint Address of both Houses of Parliament, on the 7th of February, (which Address and Answer have been already transmitted to you, how much Attention His Majesty was graciously pleased to give to the Assu. rances held out in that Address of the readiness of Parliament to afford every just and reasonable Indulgence to the Colonies, when. ever they should make a proper Application, on the Grounds of any real Grievance they might have to complain of; and, therefore, I have the less Occasion now to enlarge upon the Satisfaction it hath given His Majesty to see that Address followed by the inclosed Re. solution of the House of Commons, which, wbatever, may be the Effect of it, (I trust a happy one,) will for ever remain an Evidence of their Justice and Moderation, and manifest The Temper which has accompanied their Deliberations upon that Question, which has been the Source of so much Disquiet to His Majesty's Subjects in America, and the pretence for Acts of such Criminal Disorder and Disobedience.
“His Majesty, ardently wishing to see a Reconciliation of the unhappy Differences which have produced these Disorders, by every Means through wbich it may be obtained without Prejudice to the just Authority of Parliament, wbich His Majesty will never suffer to be violated, approves the Resolution of its faithful Commons, and Commands me to transmit it to you, not doubting that this happy Disposition to comply with every just and reasonable Wish of the King's Subjects in America, will meet with such a Return of Duty and Affection on their part, as will lead to a happy Issue of the present Disputes, and to a Re-establishment of the Public Tranquility on those Grounds of Equity, Justice and Moderation, which this Resolution holds forth.
“The King has the greater Satisfaction in this Resolution, and the greater Confidence in the good Effects of it, from having seen that amidst all the Intemperance into which a People, jealous of their Liberties, have been unfortunately misled, they have, nevertheless, avowed the Justice, the Equity, and the Propriety of Subjects of the same State, contributing according to their Abilities and Situation, to the Public Burthens; and I think I am warranted in saying that this Resolution holds no Proposition beyond that.
“I am unwilling to suppose that any of the King's Subjects in the Colonies, can have so far forgot the Benefits they have received from the Parent State, as not to acknowledge that it is to ber support, held forth at the Expence of her Blood and Treasure, that they principally owe that Security which hath raised them to their present State of Opulence and Importance. In this Situation therefore, Justice requires that they should in return, contribute according to
their respective Abilities to the common Defence, and their own Welfare and Interest demand that their Civil Establishment should be supported with a becoming Dignity.
“ It has been the Care, and I am persuaded it is the firm DetermiDation of Parliament, to see that both these Ends are answered, and their Wisdom and Moderation have suggested the propriety of leaving to each Colony to judge of the Ways and Means of making due Provision for these Purposes, reserving to themselves a discretionary Power of approving or disapproving what shall offer.
“The Resolution neither points out what the Civil Establishment should be, nor demands any specific Sum in Aid of the public Burthens; In both these Respects it leaves full Scope for that Justice and Liberality which may be expected from Colonies that, under all their prejudices, have never been wanting in Expressions of an Affectionate Attachment to the Mother Country, ani a zealous Regard for the general Welfare of the British Empire, and therefore the King trusts that the Provision they will engage to make for the support of Civil Government, will be adequate to the Rank and Station of every necessary Officer, and that the Sum to be given in Contri. bution to the Common Defence will be offered on such Terms, and proposed in such a way, as to increase or diminish, according as the public Burthens of this Kingdom are, from time to time, augmented or reduced, in so far as those Burthens consist of Taxes and Duties, which are not a security for the National Debt. By such a Mode of Contribution, the Colonies will have full Security that they can never be required to tax themselves without Parliament taxing the Subjects of this Kingdom in a far greater Proportion, and there can be no doubt that any Proposition of this Nature, made by any of the Colonies, and accompanied with such a State of their Faculties and Abilities as may evince the Equity of the proposal, will be received with every possible Indulgence, provided it be at the same time unaccompanied with any Declarations, and unmixed with any Claims which will make it impossible for the King, consistent with his own Dignity, or for Parliament, consistent with their constitutional Rights, to receive it. But I will not suppose
that Colonies will, after this Example of the temper and moderation of Parliament, adopt such a Conduct; on the Contrary, I will cherish the pleasing Hope that the public Peace will be restored, and that the Colonies, forgetting all other trivial and groundless Complaint which ill humour bath produced, will enter into the Consideration of the Resolution of the House of Commons, with that Calmness and Deliberation which the Importance of it demands, and with that Good Will and Inclination to a Reconciliation which are due to the Candour and Justice with which Parliament has taken up this Business, and at once declared to the Colonies what will be ultimately expected from them..
“I have already said that the King entirely approves the ResoJution of the House of Commons, and His Majesty commands me
any of the to say that a compliance therewith by the General Assembly of Pennsylvania will be most graciously considered by His Majesty, not only as a Testimony of their reverence for Parliament, but also as a Mark of their Duty and attachment to their Sovereign, who has no Object nearer to his Heart than the Peace and Prosperity of his Subjects in every part of his Dominions. At the same time, his Majesty considers himself as bound by every Tye to exert those Means the Constitution has placed in his Hands for preserving that Constitution entire, and to resist with firmness every Attempt to violate the Rights of Parliament, to distress and obstruct the lawful Commerce of His Subjects, and to encourage in the Colonies Ideas of Independance inconsistent with their Connection with this Kingdom.
“I am, Sir,
“ DARTMOUTH. “Deputy Governor of Pennsylvania."
Here follows the Resolution of the House of Commons referred to in the foregoing Letter, Viz" :
“ Resolved, That when the Governor, Council, and Assembly, or General Court of any of his Majesty's Provinces or Colonies in America, shall propose to make Provision according to the Condition, Circumstances, and Situation of such Province or Colony, for contributing their Proportion to the common Defence, (such Proportion to be raised under the Authority of the General Court, or General Assembly of such Province or Colony, and disposable by Parliament,) and shall engage to make Provision also, for the support of the Civil Government, and the Administration of Justice in such Province or Colony, it will be proper, if such Proposal shall be approved by His Majesty and the Houses of Parliament, and for so long as such Provision shall be made accordingly, to forbear, in respect of such Province or Colony, to levy any Duty, Tax, or Assessment, or to impose any further Duty, Tax, or Assessment, except only such Duties as it may be expedient to continue to levy, or to impose for the Regulation of Commerce, the Nett Produce of the Duties last mentioned to be carried to the Account of such Province or Colony respectively.
The Board taking the foregoing Letter and Resolve into Consideration, advised the Governor to lay the same before the assembly at their meeting next Week, accompanied with a Message, and a Member of Council was appointed to prepare a Draught of a Message for that Purpose.
MEMORANDUM, 1st May, 1775.
A Committee of Assembly waited on the Governor, and acquainted him that the House had met pursuant to Adjournment, and were ready to receive any Business His Honor might be pleased to lay before them. To which The Governor replied, that he would lay some Business before the House shortly.
, } Esquires.
At a Council held at Philadelphia, on Monday 1st May, 1775.
Andrew Allen, A Member of Council laid before the Board a Draught of a Message to the Assembly, which he had prepared agreeable to an Order of Council of the 28th of April last, which being read and approved, the same was ordered to be fairly transcribed, and carried to the House to-morrow morning, with the Resolution of the House of Commons therein referred to. The said Message follows in these Words, Viz :
A Message from the Governor to the Assembly.
“I bave ordered the Secretary to lay before you a Resolution entered into by the British House of Commons the 20th of February last, relative to the unhappy Differences subsisting between our Mother Country and her American Colonies. You will perceive by this Resolve, not only a strong Disposition manifested by that August Body, to remove the Causes which have given rise to the discontents and Complaints of His Majesty's Subjects in the Colovies, and the dreadful impending Evils likely to ensue from them; but that they have pointed out the Terms on which they think it just and reasonable a final Accommodation should be grounded.
“ Let me most earnestly entreat you, Gentlemen, to weigh and consider this Plan of Reconciliation, held forth and offered by the Parent to her Children, with that Temper, Calmness, and Deliberation, that the Importance of the Subject, and the present critical Situation of Affairs, demand. Give me leave to observe, that the Colonies, amidst all those Complaints which a Jealousy of their Liberties have occasioned, have never denied the Justice or Equity of their contributing towards the Burthens of the Mother Country, to whose Protection and care they not only owe their present opulence, but even their very Existence. On the contrary, every State and Representation of their supposed Grievances, that I have seen, avows the Propriety of such a Measure, and their willingness to comply with it.