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[124] on all laws; the people of the colonies, through
chap. V.} 1754.
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. The governor-general 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,’1 was Benjamin Franklin. He encountered a great deal of disputation about it; almost every article being contested by one or another.2 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,

1 Shirley to Sir Thomas Robinson, 24 December, 1754.

2 Ms. Letter from Benjamin Franklin, of 21 July, 1754.

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