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[114] of Hutchinson and Oliver. ‘The
chap. V.} 1754.
French,’ 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,’1 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.’ Shirley 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 and Cumberland 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.2 Thus was the opinion,

1 Message from the General Assembly of Massachusetts Bay to Governor Shirley, 4 January, 1754.

2 Shirley to the Lords of Trade, month is not given. Referred to January, 1754. The day of the Secretary, to be laid before the King, 4 April, 1754.

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