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[355] clearly in Philadelphia. The moderate men, as they
Chap. LXII.} 1776. May.
were called, who desired a reconciliation with Great Britain upon the best terms she would give, but at any rate a reconciliation, held many meetings to prepare for the election of the additional burgesses who were to be chosen in May; and when the day of election came, the friends of independence carried only Clymer; the moderate men, combining with the proprietary party, the officers of the provincial government, the avowed tories, and such of the Roman Catholics as could not control their antipathy to the Presbyterians, elected the three others. The elections in the country were also not wholly unfavorable to the interests of the proprietary. Yet as independence was become inevitable, the result only foreboded a bitter internal strife. Neither was the success of the proprietary party a fair expression of public opinion: the franchise in the city was confined to those possessing fifty pounds; Germans, who composed a large part of the inhabitants of the province and were zealots for liberty, were not allowed to give their votes unless they were naturalized, and could not be naturalized without taking the oath of allegiance to the king; moreover, of the natives of Pennsylvania, many hundreds of the warmest patriots had been carried by their public spirit to the camp on the Hudson, and even to Canada; leaving power in the hands of the timid who remained at home.

The despondency and hesitation of the assembly of Pennsylvania was in marked contrast with the fortitude of Rhode Island, whose general assembly, on the fourth day of May, passed an act discharging the inhabitants of that colony from allegiance to the king

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