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[220] of the exchequer; that they could not make
chap. X.} 1764. Oct.
any proposition to Grenville about taxing their constituents by parliament, since parliament had no right to tax them at all; that the notice which they had received bore no marks of being the king's order, or made with his knowledge; that the king had always accompanied his requisition with good words, but that the financier, instead of making a decent demand, had sent a menace, that they should certainly be taxed, and only left them the choice of the manner; and they accordingly ‘resolved, that as they always had, so they always should think it their duty to grant aid to the crown, according to their abilities, whenever required of them in the usual constitutional manner.’1

At the elections in Autumn, the proprietary party representing that ‘the king's little finger would be found heavier than the proprietaries' whole loins,’ succeeded, by about twenty votes among near four thousand, in defeating Franklin's return as the representative of Philadelphia. But the majority of the new assembly placed in him unabated confidence, and conforming to the happy suggestions of Rhode Island, they proceeded to an act which in its consequences was to influence the world. On the twenty-sixth day of October, they elected Benjamin Franklin their agent, and in spite of the bitter protest of his opponents, he sailed for England with the sacred charge of the liberties of his country in his custody.

At that time Pennsylvania was employing her men and her treasure to defend the West. To secure

1 Franklin to Alexander, 12 March, 1778.

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