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‘ [254] of the Assembly is composed of Quakers; whilst
chap. XI.} 1757.
that is the case, they will always oppose every measure of government, and support that independence which is deep-rooted every where in this country. The taxes which the people pay are really so trifling, that they do not deserve the name; so that if some method is not found out of laying on a tax for the support of a war in America by a British Act of Parliament, it appears to me, that you will continue to have no assistance from them in money, and will have very little in men, if they are wanted.’1 While the royal officers, with Loudoun at their head, were soliciting the arbitrary interposition of parliament, it is most worthy of remark, that the deep-seated, reluctantly abandoned confidence in the justice and love of liberty of the parliament of England, still led the people of Pennsylvania to look to that body for protection; and in February, 1757, Benjamin Franklin was chosen agent ‘to represent in England the unhappy situation of the province, that all occasion of dispute hereafter might be removed by an act of the British legislature.’

Massachusetts had already given the example of an appeal to the House of Commons in favor of popular power against prerogative; and its complaint had, in 1733, been rebuked ‘as a high insult, tending to shake off the dependency of the colony upon the kingdom.’ Jamaica had just been renewing the attempt; and, while Franklin was at New York to take passage, and there was no ministry in England to restrain the tendencies of the Lords of Trade, the

1 Earl of Loudoun to Secretary W. Pitt, 25 April, 1757.

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