exercised unrestricted sway.
At the second
convention, held in January, 1775, the president, Joseph Reed
, exerted all his influence, in public and in private, to defeat the intention of arming and disciplining the province; and to confine the votes as much as possible to the encouragement of manufactures and agriculture; and while with a clear eye he foresaw that the coming summer would form an epoch in history, he desired to be known to the ministry as a person who, though opposed to parliamentary taxation, had such weight and influence in the province, that the British
government upon the whole might wish him to be on their side.
It was noticed that Dickinson
did not make his appearance in the meeting till the day before its dissolution; and then only to ward off the taunts of his enemies.
The convention once more left every thing to the legislature; though a motion prevailed, empowering the committee of Philadelphia
to give notice, if a provincial congress should again become necessary.
The events at Lexington
and Bunker Hill
did not shake the purpose of Dickinson
to prevent the meeting of another convention.
His wish that the province should move in unbroken array, led him even to importune his opponent Galloway
, not to refuse a seat in the next continental congress; and Galloway
was excused only at his own urgent request.
entrusted the direction of measures of resistance to a convention, composed of men free from religious scruples about taking up arms and unshackled by oaths of allegiance, all domestic conflict would have been evaded.
But the wealth and social