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[167] America by the British legislature. The secretary of
chap. VII.} 1754.
state and the Board continued, as before, to enjoin a concert among the central provinces for their defence, and, as before, the king's command was regarded only as proposing subjects for consideration to the colonial legislatures.

‘If the several assemblies,’ wrote Penn from England, ‘will not make provision for the general service, an act of parliament may oblige them here.’1 ‘The assemblies,’ said Dinwiddie, of Virginia, ‘are obstinate, self-opinionated; a stubborn generation;’ and he advised ‘a poll-tax on the whole subjects in all the provinces, to bring them to a sense of their duty.’2 Other governors, also, ‘applied home’ for compulsory legislation;3 and Sharpe, of Maryland, who was well informed, held it ‘possible, if not probable, that parliament, at its very next session, would raise a fund in the several provinces by a poll-tax,’ or by imposts, ‘or by a stamp-duty,’ which last method he at that time favored.4

These measures were under consideration while the news was fresh of Washington's expulsion from the Ohio valley. Listening to the instance of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, the king instructed the Earl of Albemarle, then governor-in-chief of that Dominion, to grant lands west of the great ridge of mountains which separates the rivers Roanoke, James, and Potomac from the Mississippi, to such persons as should be desirous of settling them, in small quantities

1 Thomas Penn to Hamilton, 10 June, 1754.

2 Lieut. Gov. Dinwiddie to the Lords of Trade, 23 September, 1754.

3 Dinwiddie to H. Sharpe, of Maryland.

4 Lieut. Gov. H. Sharpe to the Secretary, C. Calvert, 15 September, 1754.

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