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[218] not recognise any just authority in parliament to en-
chap. X.} 1764. Oct.
act even the laws of trade. Like Massachusetts, they elected a committee of correspondence. The colony was ready ‘to exert its utmost efforts to preserve its privileges inviolate.’ It saw that the ‘critical conjunction’ was come ‘when they must be defended or finally lost;’ and they invited all other colonies to maintain their liberties with spirit, and devise a method of union.

The proposition of Rhode Island was received with joy by the assembly of Pennsylvania. The complaints of the English ministry had been specially directed against that opulent and prosperous colony, though it had been ready to make liberal grants for the public service, and had failed to do so only because the proprietaries had interposed their negative, unless their own estates were wholly or partially exempted from taxation. They were, moreover, the landlords of all the inhabitants; and yet to the judges, who were of their own appointment and were to decide all questions between them and their tenants, they gave no other tenure of office than their own good pleasure. The government, having no support in the affections of the people, was so weak, that during the previous winter it had suffered the murder of twenty Indians to pass unpunished; and could not restrain armed mobs who went about threatening the lives of more. To escape from the perpetual intervention of private interest in public affairs, Franklin, with the great body of the Quakers, as well as royalists, desired that the province should become a royal government.

One man in the assembly, the pure-minded and ingenuous John Dickinson, though ever the opponent

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