« ZurückWeiter »
dent from which to draw the proclamation. My education in New England, where a fast is proclaimed every year, was here of some advantage; I drew it in the accustomed style; it was translated into German, printed in both languages, and circulated through the province. This gave the clergy of the different sects an opportunity of influencing their congregations to join the Association, and it would probably have been general among all but the Quakers, if the peace had not soon intervened. It was thought by some of my friends, that, by my activity in these affairs, I should offend that sect, and thereby lose my interest in the Assembly of the province, where they formed a great majority. A young man, who had likewise some friends in the Assembly, and wished to succeed me as their clerk, acquainted me, that it was decided to displace me at the next election ; and he through good will advised me to resign, as more consistent with my honor than being turned out. My answer to him was, that I had read or heard of some public man, who made it a rule, never to ask for an office, and never to refuse one when offered to him. “I approve,” said I, “of this rule, and shall practise it with a small addition; I shall never ask, never refuse, nor ever RESIGN an office. If they will have my office of clerk to dispose of it to another, they shall take it from me. I will not, by giving it up, lose my right of some time or other making reprisal on my adversaries.” I heard, however, no more of this; I was chosen again unanimously as clerk at the next election. Possibly, as they disliked my late intimacy with the members of Council, who had joined the governors in all the disputes about military preparations, with which the House had long been harassed, they might have been pleased if I would voluntarily have left them; but they did not care to displace me on account merely of my zeal for the Association, and they could not well give another reason. Indeed, I had some cause to believe, that the defence of the country was not disagreeable to any of them, provided they were not required to assist in it. And I found that a much greater number of them, than I could have imagined, though against offensive war, were clearly for the defensive. Many pamphlets pro and con were published on the subject, and some by good Quakers, in favor of defence; which I believe convinced most of their young people. A transaction in our fire company gave me some insight into their prevailing sentiments. It had been proposed, that we should encourage the scheme for building a battery by laying out the present stock, then about sixty pounds, in tickets of the lottery. By our rules no money could be disposed of till the next meeting after the proposal. The company consisted of thirty members, of whom twenty-two were Quakers, and eight only of other persuasions. We eight punctually attended the meeting; but, though we thought that some of the Quakers would join us, we were by no means sure of a majority. Only one Quaker, Mr. James Morris, appeared to oppose the measure. He expressed much sorrow, that it had ever been proposed, as he said Friends were all against it, and it would create such discord as might break up the company. We told him, that we saw no reason for that; we were the minority, and if Friends were against the measure, and out-voted us, we must and should, agreeably to the usage of all societies, submit. When the hour for business arrived, it was moved to put this to the vote; he allowed we might do it by the rules, but, as he could assure us that a number of members intended to be present for the purpose of opposing it, it would be but candid to allow a little time for their appearing. While we were disputing this, a waiter came to tell me, that two gentlemen below desired to speak with me. I went down, and found there two of our Quaker members. They told me, there were eight of them assembled at a tavern just by ; that they were determined to come and vote with us if there should be occasion, which they hoped would not be the case, and desired we would not call for their assistance, if we could do without it; as their voting for such a measure might embroil them with their elders and friends. Being thus secure of a majority, I went up, and, after a little seeming hesitation, agreed to a delay of another hour. This Mr. Morris allowed to be extremely fair. Not one of his opposing friends appeared, at which he expressed great surprise; and, at the expiration of the hour, we carried the resolution eight to one; and as, of the twenty-two Quakers, eight were ready to vote with us, and thirteen by their absence manifested that they were not inclined to oppose the measure, I afterwards estimated the proportion of Quakers sincerely against defence as one to twentyone only. For these were all regular members of the Society, and in good reputation among them, and who had notice of what was proposed at that meeting. The honorable and learned Mr. Logan, who had always been of that sect, wrote an address to them, declaring his approbation of defensive war, and supported his opinion by many strong arguments. He put into my hands sixty pounds to be laid out in lottery tickets for the battery, with directions to apply what prizes might be drawn wholly to that service. He told me the following anecdote of his old master, William Penn, respecting defence. He came over from England when a young man, with that Proprietary, and as his secretary. It was war time, and their ship was chased by an armed vessel, supposed to be an enemy. Their captain prepared for defence; but told William Penn, and his company of Quakers, that he did not expect their assistance, and they might retire into the cabin; which they did, except James Logan, who chose to stay upon deck, and was quartered to a gun. The supposed enemy proved a friend, so there was no fighting; but when the secretary went down to communicate the intelligence, William Penn rebuked him severely for staying upon deck, and undertaking to assist in defending the vessel, contrary to the principles of Friends; especially as it had not been required by the captain. This reprimand, being before all the company, piqued the secretary, who answered; “I being thy servant, why did thee not order me to come down But thee was willing enough that I should stay and help to fight the ship, when thee thought there was danger.” My being many years in the Assembly, a majority of which were constantly Quakers, gave me frequent opportunities of seeing the embarrassment given them by their principle against war, whenever application was made to them, by order of the crown, to grant aids for military purposes. They were unwilling to offend government, on the one hand, by a direct refusal; and VOL. I. 20
have applied for a man-of-war, and the loan of cannon, to the governors of New England and Cape Breton; and there is some reason to think, that, from one place or the other, there will be one or more vessels of force cruising on our coasts this summer.”— MS. Letter, Philadelphia, .March 25th, 1748. “I am truly concerned at what you say about the Association; but, as your notions of it are taken from the perusal of the Association paper only, I am in hopes it will be seen in another light when it comes to be known, that they have never acted but by orders from the board; that leaving them to choose their own officers was looked upon by the Council only in the nature of a recommendation, the tenure of their commissions being to receive their orders from the Governor for the time being, according to the rules of war; and they have it in their power at any time to revoke their commissions. The rules agreed to by the associators, though they are oddly expressed, and in too general terms, yet they were only intended for the more easy learning of the military art, and the more commodious management of their musters. They tell me that they plainly respect discipline, not action; and, as they never thought of acting independently of the government, they are exceedingly surprised, that their intentions are so much misconstrued ; however, if they should have missed it in the form, since in fact they have ever had recourse to the Council, since they have ever taken their measures from them, and have behaved with remarkable dutifulness, order, sobriety, and quietness, these they think such substantial evidences of their submission to the King and his representative here, that they will more than obviate the objections taken against their manner M *
of wording their Association, and may draw upon them his Majesty's favor, not resentment.
“I am no associator, and had no hand in the thing or in any one paper that was drawn; and, at the time it was proposed, no one could entertain more doubtful apprehensions than I did; but those who were at the head of it desired Mr. Allen to inform me, that they were all hearty friends of the Proprietaries, and had it much at heart to recommend themselves to their favor. They hoped that what was done from the glorious motive of defending the city would receive the Proprietaries' countenance, and that they would become generous contributors. And in fact the batteries, with the numbers of men associated, their being furnished with arms and doing their military exercises to admiration, have rendered the minds of the citizens easy, have prevented a civil war within the province, and have, as I am well informed, frustrated some schemes concerted against the city by the people of Havana. These are considerations, which will, I hope, reconcile them to your favor; and, as I was an eyewitness of all their proceedings, justice extorts from me what I have said, and indeed would induce me to say every thing I could for them.”—.M.S. Letter, June 13th, 1748.
As cannon were afterwards sent from England, it is probable that the Proprietaries became better reconciled to the Association, when they were more fully informed of its objects.
“The new large cannon, that lately arrived from England, purchased by the managers of the Lottery, being mounted on the great battery, on Monday last, the associators of this city met under arms and marched thither; where they were saluted with one and twenty guns, and named the battery The Association.”— Pennsylvania Gazette, September 1st, 1748. – Editor.