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[326] the happiness and prosperity of America would best
Chap. LX.} 1776. Apr.
be promoted by dependence. In the hope of sufficient concessions from England, he wished therefore to maintain the constituted proprietary assembly, to prevent the call of a popular convention, and to delay an irrevocable decision.

To check the popular movement, it was necessary to enlarge the representation, raise several battalions, and reverse the instructions to the Pennsylvania delegates. The assembly sat with closed doors, and all its proceedings manifest a good understanding with the proprietary and his friends. A bill for the increase of the popular representation by seventeen new members, of whom four were to be allowed to Philadelphia, was brought in by a committee of which Dickinson and Reed were the principal members; and the ayes and noes on the question of its adoption were ostentatiously put on record, making their omission on all other occasions the more significant. The act received the sanction of the proprietary governor, and the first day of May was appointed for the new elections. The house consented to raise three battalions; but the proposal to extend conditionally the period of enlistment to the end of 1777, was carried by the casting vote of the speaker. For answering the exigencies of the province, eighty five thousand pounds were ordered by the house to be forthwith struck in bills of credit. Then, on the sixth of April, after a long debate, of which there is no report, the house, just before its adjournment, decided by a great majority not to alter the instructions given at its last sitting to the delegates for the province in congress, and they were once more enjoined

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