influence of Philadelphia
deprecated a revolutionary
government, which must emanate from undetermined constituencies and exercise powers undefined; they, therefore, for a time, made common cause with the proprietary.
The family of Penn
had ceased to be the object of hostile animosities, and had recovered public regard; attached to the Anglican church, their episcopacy was yet of a mild form, free from intolerance and proselyting zeal; and from their interests and their position they were the most sincere friends to conciliation with Britain.
Their apostacy from the Society of Friends was so far forgiven, that their policy received the support of the rigid Quakers
, whose religious scruples confined them to longsuffer-ing, or peace, or at furthest, to passive resistance.
To these elements of power, Dickinson
, who still claimed to lead the patriot party of Pennsylvania
, added his influence.
The system was wise, if nothing was intended beyond efforts for the restoration of harmony; but it did not provide for ulterior measures.
The proprietary and his immediate friends had ties of loyalty which they never would break, and to defeat independence, were swayed by interested motives which would increase in strength in proportion as the necessity for independence should appear.
Insincerity, therefore, marked the character of the assembly; no vigorous action proceeded spontaneously from its members.
Many of them, who had long held their seats and hankered after a re-election, were led step by step to seemingly bold resolutions; the friends of the proprietary desired to keep up such an appearance as would prevent a transfer of the direction of