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ther, two shares of the four into which those estates were divided, and Thomas and Richard one each. Before the time reached in our narrative, however, John had died, leaving his estates to Thomas, who thus became possessed of three of the shares originally set out by his father, while Richard had but one.
Thomas, moreover, being a more capable and efficient man than Richard, and having so much larger pecuniary interests in the province, the proprietary authority and influence fell chiefly into his hands. The contests between the provincial Assembly and the deputy-governors, (commonly styled governors, inasmuch as the principals resided for the most part in London,) were almost always traceable directly to the instructions referred to, and especially in relation to taxes; for when money was needed even for the defence of the province, or any other general purposes, in which the Proprietaries, by reason of their great possessions, were far more deeply interested than anybody else in the security and growth of the population, they were unjust and mean enough to require their governors, under heavy penal bonds, executed at the time of receiving their appointments, to refuse their assent to any act of taxation, unless their own estates were expressly exempted.
Such instructions and requirements, it is easy to see, must have excited the liveliest and most just indignation in the people of the province and their representatives, and have greatly embarrassed the action of the provincial government. They were, however, sometimes evaded, as in the following instance, which, besides its intrinsic interest, serves to illustrate the character and resources of Franklin's mind too well to be omitted.
War with France, though not formally proclaimed, having in fact commenced, as already intimated, the Massachusetts authorities, early in 1755, projected an expedition to Crown Point, on Lake Champlain, to resist the encroachments of the French in that quarter; and they despatched agents to other colonies to ask for aid. The agent sent to Pennsylvania was Josiah Quincy, of a family distinguished for its patriotic zeal, and one of the firmest, ablest, and most enlightened men of that time. Knowing Franklin not only as a Bostonian by birth, but for his great abilities and high standing in both the Assembly and the community, Mr. Quincy presented himself first to him, to confer with him on the subject of his mission and the best mode of bringing it forward. It was concluded that the object of Mr. Quincy's visit should be presented in a written communication, drawn up in the manner suggested by Franklin, and addressed directly to the Assembly. The application was well received, and promptly answered by a vote of the Assembly granting an aid of ten thousand pounds, to be expended in purchasing provisions for the projected expedition.
But the bill making this grant included other sums, to the amount of fifteen thousand pounds, for the public service, and the whole was to be raised by taxation. When the bill, therefore, came before the governor, he, alleging as usual his instructions, refused his assent to the bill, because it did not exempt the proprietary estates from its operation ; and Mr. Quincy's utmost efforts to persuade him to waive his objection were unavailing. In this dilemma, Franklin proposed that the money for Massachusetts should be raised by means of drafts on the trustees of the loan-office, (from which the provincial paper-money was issued,) which drafts the Assembly had authority to make, independently of the governor; but as there was scarcely any money then in the loanoffice, the drafts should be made payable at the end of the year, with five per cent. interest, and secured by a
AID TO MASSACHUSETTS.
pledge of the fund derived from the interest accruing on all the provincial paper-money then in circulation, and from the excises then collected.
These revenues were well known to be more than sufficient to meet the drafts ; the plan was promptly adopted by the Assembly, and the drafts when issued were in such high credit that they were not only readily taken in direct payment for provisions, but moneyed men, who had cash on hand, gladly purchased them as a temporary investment, for the sake of the interest upon them, knowing that they could readily sell them again whenever they might wish to employ their money in some other way. This business being thus successfully accomplished, Mr. Quincy addressed an appropriate letter of thanks to the Assembly, and, filled with warm and lasting esteem for Franklin, returned to Boston, highly gratified with the result of his mission.
In the spring of 1755, Franklin signalized his personal influence, ability, and public spirit, in another branch of the public service. General Braddock, of unfortunate mem
emory, had arrived early that spring, at Alexandria, Virginia, with two regiments of regular troops from England, and had advanced to Fredericktown, Maryland, where he encamped to wait for teams, which he had sent out agents to collect, in the back settlements of Maryland and Virginia, for the purpose of conveying provisions and other stores for the troops on their march to the frontier. The Pennsylvania Assembly having some reason to suppose that Braddock had been led, by false representations, to misconceive their disposition to promote the public service, were anxious to disabuse his mind on that point, and for this purpose desired Franklin to pay him a visit. He was to go, however, not ostensibly as their agent, but as the head of the colonial postoffice department, in order to concert arrangements for expediting the general's official correspondence with the public authorities of the adjacent colonies, and the expenses of which they would defray.
Franklin, who promptly undertook the mission, found
VISIT TO BRADDOCK.
Braddock at Fredericktown, full of impatience for the arrival of the much-needed teams; and remaining with him several days, in constant intercourse, was entirely successful in correcting his erroneous impressions respecting the Assembly, by showing him how they had acted, and what they were ready to do, in aid of his plans. As Franklin was on the point of leaving him, Braddock's agents came in, reporting that they had been able to engage but twenty-five teams, and that some even of that small number were poorly fitted for efficient service. This result surprised the general and his officers. They pronounced the expedition wholly impracticable, as at least six times the number reported were indispensable; and they denounced the ministry for their ignorance in ordering them to a country which could furnish no means of conveyance. Franklin took the occasion to express his regret that the troops had not been directed to Pennsylvania, where almost every farmer kept a wag
To this remark Braddock eagerly responded, saying to Franklin, that as he was a man of influence there, he could probably procure the necessary teams, and pressing him to undertake the business. Upon inquiring on what terms the teams were to be raised, Franklin, at the general's request, made a brief statement in writing of such terms as he deemed reasonable; and these being approved, he was forthwith furnished with the requisite authority and instructions, and departed.
On reaching Lancaster, he issued advertisements, dated the 25th of April, 1755, stating that he was empowered to make contracts for one hundred and fifty wagons, with four horses and a driver to each ; and for fifteen hundred pack-horses; naming the days on which he would be at Lancaster and York to execute such contracts, and that he had sent his son into Cumberland for the same purpose. To give additional efficacy to his