plans union for the American
's administration continued.
New York offered no resistance to the progress
of the French
the Ohio Company, in 1753, opened a road by Will's Creek
, into the Western
valley; and Gist
established a plantation near the Youghiogeny, just beyond Laurel Hill
. Eleven families settled in his vicinity; a town and fort were marked out on Shurtee's Creek; but the British
government did nothing to win the valley of the Ohio
, leaving the feeble company exposed to the wavering jealousy of the red men, and without protection against the impending encroachments of France
The young men of the Six Nations had been hunting, in April, near the rapids of the St. Lawrence
Suddenly they beheld a large body of French and Indians, equipped for war, marching towards Ontario
; and their two fleetest runners hurried through the forest as messengers to the grand council at Onondaga
In eight-and-forty hours the decision of the council was borne by fresh posts to the nearest English station; and on the nineteenth of April, at midnight, the two Indians from Canajoharie
, escorted by
warriors, that filled the air with their whoops
and halloos, presented to Johnson
the belt of warning which should urge the English
to protect the Ohio Indians
and the Miamis.1
In May more than thirty canoes were counted as they passed Oswego
; part of an army going to ‘the Beautiful River’ of the French
The Six Nations foamed with eagerness to take up the hatchet; for, said they, ‘Ohio
On the report that a body of twelve hundred men had been detached from Montreal
, by the brave Duquesne
, the successor of La Jonquiere, to occupy the Ohio valley
, the Indians on the banks of that river,—promiscuous bands of Delawares, Shawnees, and Mingoes, or emigrant Iroquois
,—after a council at Logstown, resolved to stay the progress of the white men. Their envoy met the French
, in April, at Niagara
, and gave them the first warning to turn back.
As the message sent from the council-fires of the tribes was unheeded, Tanacharisson, the Half-King
, himself repaired to them at the newly discovered harbor of Erie
, and, undismayed by a rude reception, delivered his speech.
‘Fathers! you are disturbers in this land, by taking it away unknown to us and by force.
This is our land, and not yours.
Fathers! both you and the English
are white; we live in a country between.
Therefore the land belongs to neither the one nor the other of you. But the Great Being above allowed it to be a dwelling-place for us; so, Fathers, I desire you to withdraw, as I have done our brothers, the English
;’ and he gave the belt of wampum.
The French officer treated with derision the sim-
ple words of the red chieftain of vagrants of the wilderness, men who belonged to no confederacy, except as they were subordinate to the Six Nations. ‘Child
,’ he replied, ‘you talk foolishly; you say this land belongs to you; but not so much of it as the black of your nail is yours.
It is my land; and I will have it, let who will stand up against it;’ and he threw back the belt of wampum in token of contempt.
The words of the French
commander filled the Half-King
In September, the mightiest men of the Mingo
clan, of the Delawares, the Shawnees, the Wyandots, and the Miamis, met Franklin
, of Pennsylvania
, with two colleagues, at Carlisle
They wished neither French nor English to settle in their country; if the English
would lend aid, they would repel the French
The calm statesman distributed presents to all, but especially gifts of condolence to the tribe that dwelt at Picqua;3
and returning, he made known that the French
had successively established posts at Erie
, at Waterford
, and at Venango
, and were preparing to occupy the banks of the Monongahela
Sanctioned by the orders from the king, Dinwiddie
, resolved to send ‘a person of distinction to the commander of the French
forces on the Ohio River
, to know his reasons for invading the British
dominions, while a solid peace subsisted.’
The envoy whom he selected was George Washington
The young man, then just twenty-one, a pupil of the
wilderness, and as heroic as La Salle
, entered with
alacrity on the perilous winter's journey from Williamsburg
to the streams of Lake Erie
In the middle of November, with an interpreter and four attendants, and Christopher Gist
, as a guide, he left Will's Creek
, and following the Indian
trace through forest solitudes, gloomy with the fallen leaves and solemn sadness of late autumn, across mountains, rocky ravines, and streams, through sleet and snows, he rode in nine days to the fork of the Ohio
How lonely was the spot, where, so long unheeded of men, the rapid Alleghany
met nearly at right angles ‘the deep and still’ water of the Monongahela
At once Washington
foresaw the destiny of the place.
‘I spent some time,’ said he, ‘in viewing the rivers;’ ‘the land in the Fork
has the absolute command of both.’
‘The flat, well timbered land all around the point lies very convenient for building.’
After creating in imagination a fortress and a city, he and his party swam their horses across the Alleghany
, and wrapt their blankets around them for the night, on its northwest bank.
From the Fork
the chief of the Delawares conducted Washington
through rich alluvial fields to the pleasing valley at Logstown.
There deserters from Louisiana
discoursed of the route from New Orleans to Quebec
, by way of the Wabash
and the Maumee
, and of a detachment from the lower province on its way to meet the French
troops from Lake Erie
, while Washington
held close colloquy with the Half-King
; the one anxious to gain the West
as a part of the territory of the Ancient Dominion
, the other to preserve it for the red men. ‘We are brothers,’ said the Half King
in council; “we are one people; I will send back
speech-belt, and will make the Shawnees
and the Delawares do the same.”
On the night of the twenty-ninth of November, the council-fire was kindled; an aged orator was selected to address the French
; the speech which he was to deliver was debated and rehearsed; it was agreed, that, unless the French
would heed this third warning to quit the land, the Delawares also would be their enemies; and a very large string of black
wampum was sent to the Six Nations as a prayer for aid.
After these preparations the party of Washington
, attended by the Half-King
, and envoys of the Delawares, moved onwards to the post of the French
The officers there avowed the purpose of taking possession of the Ohio
; and they mingled the praises of La Salle
with boasts of their forts at Le Boeuf and Erie
, at Niagara
, and Frontenac
,’ said they, ‘can raise two men to our one; but they are too dilatory to prevent any enterprise of ours.’
were intimidated or debauched; but the Half-King
clung to Washington
like a brother, and delivered up his belt as he had promised.
The rains of December had swollen the creeks.
The messengers could pass them only by felling trees for bridges.
Thus they proceeded, now killing a buck and now a bear, delayed by excessive rains and snows, by mire and swamps, while Washington
's quick eye discerned all the richness of the meadows.
, the limit of his journey, he found Fort Le Boeuf
defended by cannon.
Around it stood the barracks of the soldiers, rude log-cabins, roofed with bark.
Fifty birch-bark canoes, and one hundred
and seventy boats of pine were already prepared
for the descent of the river, and materials were collected for building more.
The commander, Gardeur de St. Pierre
, an officer of integrity5
and experience, and, for his dauntless courage, both feared and beloved by the red men, refused to discuss questions of right.
‘I am here,’ said he, ‘by the orders of my general, to which I shall conform with exactness and resolution.’
And he avowed his purpose of seizing every Englishman within the Ohio valley
was resolved on possessing the great territory which her missionaries and travellers had revealed to the world.
Breaking away from courtesies, Washington
hastened homewards to Virginia
The rapid current of French Creek
dashed his party against rocks; in shallow places they waded, the water congealing on their clothes; where the ice had lodged in the bend of the rivers, they carried their canoe across the neck.
, they found their horses, but so weak, the travellers went still on foot, heedless of the storm.
The cold increased very fast; the paths grew ‘worse by a deep snow continually freezing.’
Impatient to get back with his despatches, the young envoy, wrapping himself in an Indian dress, with gun in hand and pack on his back, the day after Christmas quitted the usual path, and, with Gist
for his sole companion, by aid of the compass, steered the nearest way across the country for the Fork
An Indian, who had lain in wait for him, fired at him from not fifteen steps' distance, but, missing him, became his prisoner.
‘I would have killed him,’ wrote Gist
, “but Washington
Dismissing their captive at night, they
walked about half a mile, then kindled a fire, fixed their course by the compass, and continued travelling all night, and all the next day, till quite dark.
Not till then did the weary wanderers ‘think themselves safe enough to sleep,’ and they encamped, with no shelter but the leafless forest-tree.
On reaching the Alleghany
, with one poor hatchet and a whole day's work, a raft was constructed and launched.
But before they were half over the river, they were caught in the running ice, expecting every moment to be crushed, unable to reach either shore.
Putting out the setting-pole to stop the raft, Washington
was jerked into the deep water, and saved himself only by grasping at the raft-logs.
They were obliged to make for an island.
There lay Washington
, imprisoned by the elements; but the late December night was intensely cold, and in the morning he found the river frozen.
Not till he reached Gist
's settlement, in January, 1754, were his toils lightened.
's report was followed by immediate activity.
The Ohio Company agreed to build a fort at the Fork
, and he himself was stationed at Alexandria
to enlist recruits.
In February, the General Assembly,6
unwilling to engage with France
, yet ready to protect the settlers beyond the mountains, agreed to borrow ten thousand pounds, taking care to place the disbursement of the money under the superintendence of their own committee.
of Burgesses,’ Dinwiddie
complained, ‘were in a republican way of thinking;’ but he confessed
himself unable ‘to bring them to order.’
sembly of Virginia
, pleading their want of means, single-handed, ‘to answer all the ends designed,’ appealed to the ‘royal beneficence.’7
, it was the ‘opinion of the greatest men,’ that the colonies should do something for themselves, and contribute jointly towards their defence.8
The ministry as yet did nothing but order the independent companies, stationed at New York and at Charleston
, to take part in defence of Western Virginia
, the governor of South Carolina
, proposed a meeting, in Virginia
, of all the continental governors, to adjust a quota from each colony, to be employed on the Ohio
‘The Assembly of this Dominion,’ observed Dinwiddie
‘will not be directed what supplies to grant, and will always be guided by their own free determinations; they would think it an insult on their privileges, that they are so very fond of, to be under any restraint or direction.’
voted twelve thousand pounds of its paper money for the service; yet little good came of it. Maryland
accomplished nothing, for it coupled its offers of aid with a diminution of the privileges of the proprietary.10
saw the French
taking post on its eastern frontier, and holding Crown Point
on the northwest.
The province had never intrusted its affairs to so arbitrary11
a set of men, as the Council and Assembly of that day. They adopted the recommendations
,’ said they, ‘have but one interest; the English
governments are disunited; some of them have their frontiers covered by their neighboring governments, and, not being immediately affected, seem unconcerned.’
They therefore solicited urgently the interposition of the king, that the French
forts within his territories might be removed.
‘We are very sensible,’12
they added, ‘of the necessity of the colonies affording each other mutual assistance; and we make no doubt but this province will, at all times, with great cheerfulness, furnish their just and reasonable quota towards it.’
was at hand to make the same use of this message, as of a similar petition six years before.
But his influence was become greater.
He had conducted the commission for adjusting the line of boundary with France
, had propitiated the favor of Halifax
by flattery, and had been made acquainted with the designs of the Board of Trade.
His counsels, which were now, in some sense, the echo of the thoughts of his superiors, were sure to be received with deference, and to be cited as conclusive; and he repeatedly assured the ministry, that unless the king should himself determine for each colony the quota of men or money, which it should contribute to the common cause, and unless the colonies should be obliged, in some effectual manner, to conform to that determination, there could be no general plan for the defence of America
Without such a settlement, and a method to enforce it, there could be no union.13
Thus was the opinion,
which was one day to lead to momentous conse-
quences, more and more definitively formed.
, like Maryland
, fell into a strife with the proprietaries, and, incensed at their parsimony, the province, at that time, perfected no grant, although the French
were within its borders, and were preparing to take possession of all that part of it that lay west of the Alleghany
Ignorant of the unequivocal orders to Virginia
, they seized on the strict injunctions of Holdernesse, in his circular, ‘not to make use of armed force, excepting within the undoubted limits of his Majesty's dominions;’ of which they thought ‘it would be highly presumptuous in them to judge.’
In April, the Assembly of New York voted a thousand pounds to Virginia
, but declined assisting to repel the French
from a post which lay within the proprietary domain of Pennsylvania
The Assembly of New Jersey would not even send commissioners to the congress at Albany
In the universal reluctance of the single colonies, all voices began to demand a union.
‘A gentle land-tax,’ said Kennedy
, through the press of New York and of London
, ‘a gentle land-tax, being the most equitable, must be our last resort.’
He looked forward with hope to the congress at Albany
, but his dependence was on the parliament; for ‘with parliament there would be no contending.
And when their hands are in,’ he added, ‘who knows but that they may lay the foundation of a regular government amongst us, by fixing
a support for the officers of the crown, independent of
, of New York,15
the same who, with the elder William Smith
, had limited the prerogative, by introducing the custom of granting but an annual support, thought that the British parliament should establish the duties for a colonial revenue, which the future American Grand Council, to be composed of deputies from all the provinces, should have no power to diminish.
The royalist, Colden
, saw no mode of obtaining the necessary funds but by parliamentary taxation; the members of the Grand Council, unless removable by the crown, might become dangerous.
The privilege of fixed meetings at. stated times and places, was one which neither the parliament nor the Privy Council enjoyed, and would tend to subvert the constitution.
, he was assured, ‘will, and can, keep its colonies dependent.’
looked for greater liberties than such as the British parliament might inaugurate.
Having for his motto, ‘Join or die,’ he busied himself in sketching to his friends the outline of a confederacy which should truly represent the whole American people.
was all the while persevering in his plans at the West
was already there; and Washington
, now a lieutenant-colonel, with a regiment of but one hundred and fifty ‘self-willed, ungovernable’ men, was ordered to join him at the fork of the Ohio
, ‘to finish the fort already begun there by the Ohio Company;’ and ‘to make prisoners, kill, or destroy all who interrupted the English
But as soon as spring opened the Western
and before Washington
could reach Will's Creek
, the French
, led by Contrecoeur
, came down from Venango
, and summoned the English
at the Fork
Only thirty-three in number, they, on the seventeenth of April, capitulated and withdrew.
occupied the post, which he fortified, and, from the governor of New France, named Duquesne
The near forest-trees were felled and burned; cabins of bark, for barracks, were built round the fort, and at once, among the charred stumps, wheat and maize sprung up on the scorched fields where now is Pittsburgh
‘Come to our assistance as soon as you can;’ such was the message sent by the Half-King
's wampum to Washington
; ‘come soon, or we are lost, and shall never meet again.
I speak it in the grief of my heart.’
And a belt in reply announced the approach of the Half-King
's ‘brother and friend.’
The raw recruits, led by their young commander, could advance but slowly, fording deep streams, and painfully dragging their few cannon.
In the cold and wet season, they were without tents or shelter from the weather; without a supply of clothes; often in want of provisions; without any thing to make the service agreeable.
On the twenty-fifth of May, the wary Half-King
sent word, ‘Be on your guard; the French
army intend to strike the first English whom they shall see.’
The same day, another report came, that the French
were but eighteen miles distant, at the crossing of the Youghiogeny.
hurried to the Great Meadows, where, ‘with nature's assistance,
he made a good intrenchment, and, by clearing
the bushes out of the meadows, prepared’ what he called ‘a charming field for an encounter.’
A small, light detachment, sent out on wagon-horses to reconnoitre, returned without being able to find any one.
By the rules of wilderness warfare, a party that skulks and hides is an enemy.
At night the little army was alarmed, and remained under arms from two o'clock till near sunrise.
On the morning of the twenty-seventh, Gist
He had seen the trail of the French
within five miles of the American
In the evening of that day, about nine o'clock, an express came from the Half-King
, that the armed body of the French
was not far off. Through a heavy rain, in a night as dark as can be conceived, with but forty men, marching in single file along a most narrow trace, Washington
made his way to the camp of the Half-King
After council, it was agreed to go hand in hand, and strike the invaders.
, following the trail of the French
, discovered their lodgment, away from the path, concealed among rocks.
With the Mingo
made arrangements to come upon them by surprise.
Perceiving the English
approach, they ran to seize their arms.
, and, with his own musket, gave the example.
That word of command kindled the world into a flame.
It was the signal for the first great war of revolution.
There, in the Western
forest, began the battle which was to banish from the soil and neighborhood of our republic the institutions of the Middle Age
, and to inflict on them fatal wounds throughout the continent of Europe
In repelling France
from the basin of the Ohio
broke the repose of mankind, and waked a
struggle, which could admit only of a truce, till the ancient bulwarks of Catholic legitimacy were thrown down.
An action of about a quarter of an hour ensued.
Ten of the French
were killed; among them Jumonville, the commander of the party; and twenty-one were made prisoners.
When the tidings of this affray crossed the Atlantic
, the name of Washington
was, for the first time, heard in the saloons of Paris
The partisans of absolute monarchy pronounced it with execration.
They foreboded the loss of the Western World; and the flatterers of Louis the Fifteenth and of Madame Pompadour
, the high-born panders to royal lust, outraged the fair fame of the spotless hero as a violator of the laws of nations.
What courtier, academician, or palace menial would have exchanged his hope of fame with that of the calumniated American?
The death of Jumonville became the subject for loudest complaint; this martyr to the cause of feudalism and despotism was celebrated in heroic verse, and continents were invoked to weep for his fall.
And at the very time when the name of Washington
became known to France
, the child was just born who was one day to stretch out his hand for the relief of America
and the triumph of popular power and freedom.
How many defeated interests bent over the grave of Jumonville!
How many hopes clustered round the cradle of the infant Louis!17
The dead were scalped by the Indians, and the
chieftain, Monacawache, bore a scalp and a hatchet to each of the tribes of the Miamis, inviting their great war-chiefs and braves to go hand in hand with the Six Nations and the English
was looking wistfully for aid from the banks of the Muskingum
, the Miami
, and the Wabash
, from Maryland
, and from all the six provinces to which appeals had been made, no relief arrived.
An independent company came, indeed, from South Carolina
; but its captain, proud of his commission from the king, weakened the little army by wrangling for precedence over the provincial commander of the Virginia
regiment; and it is the sober judgment of the well-informed,18
that, if Washington
had remained undisputed chief, the defeat that followed would have been avoided.
While he, with his Virginians
, constructed a road for about thirteen miles through the gorge in the mountains to Gist
's settlement, and a party was clearing a path as far as the mouth of the Redstone, the Half-King
saw with anger that the independent company remained in idleness at Great Meadows ‘from one full moon to the other;’19
and, foreboding evil, he removed his wife and children to a place of safety.
The numbers of the French
were constantly increasing.
, whom so many colonies had been vainly solicited to succor, was, on the first day of July, compelled to fall back upon Fort Necessity
, the rude stockade at Great Meadows.
The royal troops had done nothing to make it tenable.
The little intrenchment was in a glade between two eminences
covered with trees, except within sixty yards
of it. On the third day of July, about noon, six hundred French
, with one hundred Indians
in eight, and took possession of one of the eminences, where every soldier found a large tree for his shelter, and could fire in security on the troops beneath.
For nine hours, in a heavy rain, the fire was returned.
The tranquil courage of Washington
spread its influence through the raw provincial levies, so inferior to the French
in numbers and in position.
after thirty of the English
, and but three of the French
had been killed, De Villiers
himself fearing his ammunition would give out, proposed a parley.
The terms of capitulation which were offered were interpreted to Washington
, who did not understand French
, and, as interpreted, were accepted.
On the fourth day of July, the English
garrison, retaining all its effects, withdrew from the basin of the Ohio
In the whole valley of the Mississippi, to its head-springs in the Alleghanies
, no standard floated but that of France
Hope might dawn from Albany
There, on the nineteenth day of June, 1754, assembled the memorable congress22
of commissioners from every colony north of the Potomac
The Virginia government, too, was represented by the presiding officer, Delancey
, the lieutenant-governor
of New York.
They met to concert measures of defence, and to treat with the Six Nations and the tribes in their alliance.
America had never seen an assembly so venerable for
the States that were represented or for the great and
able men who composed it. Every voice declared a union of all the colonies to be absolutely necessary.
And, as a province might recede at will from an unratified covenant, the experienced Hutchinson
, of Massachusetts
, proud of having rescued that colony from thraldom to paper money, Hopkins
, a patriot of Rhode Island
, the wise and faithful Pitkin
, of Connecticut
, of Maryland
, the liberal Smith
, of New York, and Franklin
, the most benignant of statesmen, were deputed to prepare a constitution for a perpetual confederacy of the continent; but Franklin
had already ‘projected’ a plan, and had brought the heads of it with him.23
The representatives of the Six Nations assembled tardily, but urged union and action.
They accepted the tokens of peace.
They agreed to look upon ‘Virginia
’ as also present.
‘We thank you,’ said Hendrick
, the great Mohawk
chief, ‘we thank you for renewing and brightening the covenant chain.
We will take this belt to Onondaga
, where our council-fire always burns, and keep it so securely that neither the thunderbolt nor the lightning shall break it. Strengthen yourselves, and bring as many as you can into this covenant chain.’
‘You desired us to open our minds and hearts to you,’ added the indignant brave.
‘Look at the French
; they are men; they are fortifying every where.
But, we are ashamed to say it, you are like women, without any fortifications.
It is but one step from Canada
hither, and the French
may easily come and turn you out of doors.’
The distrust of the Six Nations was still stronger
than was expressed.
Though presents in unusual
abundance had been provided, and a general invitation had been given, but one hundred and fifty warriors appeared.
Half of the Onandagas had withdrawn, and joined the settlement formed at Oswegatchie under French auspices.
Even Mohawks went to the delegates from Massachusetts
to complain of fraudulent transfers of their soil,—that the ground on which they slept, and where burned the fires by which they sat, had never been sold, but had yet been surveyed and stolen from them in the night.24
The lands on the Ohio
they called their own; and as Connecticut
was claiming a part of Pennsylvania
, because by its charter its jurisdiction extended west to the Pacific
, they advised the respective claimants to remain at peace.
The red men having held their last council, and the congress, by its president, having spoken to them farewell, the discussion of the federative compact was renewed, and the project of Franklin
being accepted, he was deputed alone to make a draught of it. On the tenth day of July, he produced the finished plan of perpetual union, which was read paragraph by paragraph, and debated all day long.
The seat of the proposed federal government was to be Philadelphia
, a central city, which it was thought could be reached even from New Hampshire
or South Carolina
in fifteen or twenty days. The constitution was a compromise between the prerogative and popular power.
The king was to name and to support a governor-general, who should have a negative
on all laws; the people of the colonies, through
their legislatures, were to elect triennially a grand council, which alone could originate bills.
Each colony was to send a number of members in proportion to its contributions, yet not less than two, nor more than seven.
was to nominate military officers, subject to the advice of the council, which, in turn, was to nominate all civil officers.
No money was to be issued but by their joint order.
Each colony was to retain its domestic constitution; the federal government was to regulate all relations of peace or war with the Indians, affairs of trade, and purchases of lands not within the bounds of particular colonies; to establish, organize, and temporarily to govern new settlements; to raise soldiers, and equip vessels of force on the seas, rivers, or lakes; to make laws, and levy just and equal taxes.
The grand council were to meet once a year, to choose their own speaker, and neither to be dissolved nor prorogued, nor continue sitting longer than six weeks at any one time, but by their own consent.
The warmest friend of union and ‘the principal hand in forming the plan,’25
was Benjamin Franklin
He encountered a great deal of disputation about it; almost every article being contested by one or another.26
His warmest supporters were the delegates from New England
; yet Connecticut
feared the negative power of the governor-general
On the royalist side none opposed but Delancey
He would have reserved to the colonial governors a negative on all elections to the grand council; but it was answered,
that the colonies would then be virtually taxed by a
congress of governors.
The sources of revenue suggested in debate were a duty on spirits and a general stamp-tax.27
At length after much debate, in which Franklin
manifested consummate address, the commissioners agreed on the proposed confederacy ‘pretty unanimously.’
‘It is not altogether to my mind,’ said Franklin
, giving an account of the result; ‘but it is as I could get it,’28
and copies were ordered, that every member might ‘lay the plan of union before his constituents for consideration;’ a copy was also to be transmitted to the governor of each colony not represented in the congress.
colonies in their infancy had given birth to a confederacy.
, in 1697, had proposed an annual congress of all the provinces on the continent of America
, with power to regulate commerce.
revived the great idea, and breathed into it enduring life.
As he descended the Hudson
, the people of New York thronged about him to welcome him;29
and he, who had first entered their city as a runaway apprentice, was revered as the mover of American union.
Yet the system was not altogether acceptable either to Great Britain
or to America
The fervid attachment of each colony to its own individual liberties repelled the overruling influence of a central power.
rejected it; even New York showed it little favor; Massachusetts
charged her agent to oppose
The Board of Trade, on receiving the
minutes of the congress, were astonished at a plan of general government “complete in itself.”
Reflecting men in England
dreaded American union as the keystone of independence.
But in the mind of Franklin
the love for union assumed still more majestic proportions, and comprehended ‘the great country back of the Apalachian mountains
He directed attention to the extreme richness of its land; the healthy temperature of its air; the mildness of the climate; and the vast convenience of inland navigation by the Lakes
and great rivers.
‘In less than a century,’ said he with the gift of prophecy, ‘it must undoubtedly become a populous and powerful dominion.’
And through Thomas Pownall
, who had been present at Albany
during the deliberations of the congress, he advised the immediate organization of two new colonies in the west; with powers of self-direction and government like those of Connecticut
and Rhode Island
: the one on Lake Erie
; the other in the valley of the Ohio
, with its capital on the banks of the Scioto
Thus did the freedom of the American
colonies, their union, and their extension through the west, become the three great objects of the remaining years of Franklin
Heaven, in its mercy, gave the illustrious statesman length of days, so that he lived to witness the fulfilment of his hopes in all their grandeur.