previous next
[125] that the colonies would then be virtually taxed by a
chap. V.} 1754.
congress of governors. The sources of revenue suggested in debate were a duty on spirits and a general stamp-tax.1 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,’2 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.

New England colonies in their infancy had given birth to a confederacy. William Penn, in 1697, had proposed an annual congress of all the provinces on the continent of America, with power to regulate commerce. Franklin 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;3 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. Connecticut rejected it; even New York showed it little favor; Massachusetts charged her agent to oppose

1 Smith's New York, II. 185. Gordon's History of the American Revolution, i.

2 Ms. Letter of Franklin.

3 Letter from New York, 17 July, 1754, ‘Gentlemen have, for this hour past, been going in and coming out from paying their compliments to Mr. Franklin.’

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Benjamin Franklin (5)
William Smith (1)
William Penn (1)
Gordon (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
July 17th, 1754 AD (1)
1754 AD (1)
1697 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: